Colin Farrell takes over the Schwarzenegger role in this remake of the iconic sci-fi film, but it’s Kate Beckinsale who steals the show. This dark and meaty glimpse of the future offers non-stop action and a kick-ass babe.
Based on the Philip K. Dick story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, Total Recall centers on a man named Quaid (Colin Farrell) who doesn’t know his current life is a fiction created by a totalitarian regime. With the help of some psychotropic injections, Quaid's memories have been replaced by new ones. Other than killing him, it’s the perfect way for the government to silence this former fighter for the resistance movement. Except for one problem -- his real memories play themselves out in the form of nightmares, making sleep nearly impossible.
His so-called “wife” Lori (Kate Beckinsale) is in on the game, pretending to love and comfort him. Desperate for solace, Quaid visits the seedy red-light district of this grey, dingy city where cell phones are implanted into the palms of people's hands. A three-breasted prostitute directs him to Rekall, where he intends to have some new memories implanted. When the procedure goes terribly wrong, Quaid finds himself on the run, unsure of whom to trust.
Lori’s true identity is revealed and she is now hunting Quaid like a dog. Though her orders are to bring him back alive, she has every intension of squashing him like a cockroach. Feeling betrayed, Quaid confronts her about the lies. She coldly and heartlessly tells him, “I give good wife.”
Quaid does have an ally however, the sleek and beautiful Melina (Jessica Biel), also a member of the resistance. Together the two fight against a government that has a dark plan for its citizens.
The action in Total Recall is jolting and clever. The chase scenes are wholly original for their use of all three dimensions; it's super fun to watch these characters move horizontally and vertically and smash through plates of glass. Kate Beckinsale is tough as nails in her ninja-like fighting ability and superbly cast. Colin Farrell does a good job of revealing a broken, vulnerable man, uncertain of his future.
Bottom line: This is an exciting, fast and furious action flick that also has an intellectual component for the audience to chew on. Whether your memories are mostly good or bad, this movie will have you appreciating the fact that they are yours.