In this remake of the 1990 classic starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Colin Farrell takes on the role of Douglas Quaid, a factory worker who is having insomnia because of dreams that keep haunting him. Where the original Sci-fi action movie was set in the future, where travel to Mars was possible but life on Earth was essentially the same, with a house, wife, cars, etc., in the new version, Earth has undergone a devastating war. There are two major population centers, The United Federation of Britain (UFB) and The Colony (Australia & New Zealand) and they are connected by a tunnel which has been bored through the Earth’s core where a gigantic transport transports the “worker bees” from the Colony to work in the United Federation of Britain’s factories on a daily basis.
Life in the Colony is like life in the slums of Bangkok if you pile like 10 Bangkoks one on top of the other. It’s always raining, and life is fairly miserable. When Quaid decides to give “Total Rekall” a try, to explore the strange dreams he has been having, he requests a Super Secret Agent experience for his virtual memory. But as they begin to plug him in for his memory implant, you aren’t quite sure from that point on if it is REAL or is it MEMOREX! They discover what seems to be suppressed memories from his real life as a secret agent and from that moment on, it is non-stop action, chase, shoot-em up.
For those familiar with the original movie, there are only a few similarities to it, namely his name, Douglas Quaid and the fact that his wife isn’t really his wife, like Sharon Stone was pretending to be in the original. The one character that did make it into the remake is this girl, shown in the 1990 movie! (No images yet of the new one)
The chase scenes I really enjoyed! There is an elevator system that can only be described as phenomenal, being like the “Wonka-vator” from Willie Wonka that can go up and down or sideways or frontways or any way. It’s interesting to note that some of the residents of UFB are well-off enough to drive hovercars on a suspended, multilevel transportation system but others are still driving regular rubber tired cars on the ground.
There are elements in this movie that seems to be a mash-up from Star Wars (storm troopers), Inception (dream & memory manipulation), Doctor Who (multilevel hover cars), The Matrix (several aspects), and other things in the movie. It does lack some of the comedy and creativity that was in the original. One thing I missed in particular was the hidden identity of Kuato, the leader of the resistance in the original. If you’ve seen it, you’ll recall that Kuato was the deformed embedded humanoid conjoined in his brother’s stomach. In this film, the leader of the resistance is just a man, Matthias, played by Bill Nighy and he is being hunted by Cohaagen, the Prime Minister of UFB, played by Bryan Cranston. Other cast members include Jessica Biel who plays the real girlfriend of Hauser/Quaid, and Kate Beckinsale as Lori Quaid, who is actually an agent assigned to keep an eye on the re-programmed Quaid.
If you haven’t seen the original, I think you will really enjoy this, if you like action adventure Sci-Fi movies. If you have seen the Arnold version, you could get distracted looking for things from it, but the action from this one should fairly quickly make you stop comparing.
Please post your comments and let me know what you think below!