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Christopher Webster [Celluloid 08.05.12] cyberpunk scifi action adventure

Be sure to check out Stephanie's much more elaborate and articulate run through.

So I went to see Total Recall last night in one of the swanky new VIP theatres. The service was good, the drinks flowed and the legroom was amazing. An enjoyable experience was had by all. So what about the movie?

In brief: What you've heard about the new Total Recall is true: Mars is gone and so are the mutants, replaced by triple breasted prostitutes scientifically augmented for human pleasure. Tattoos glow and phones are inside your hands. These change feel right in terms of the world Wiseman and Co. have created - one that, like Minority Report, is only five minutes removed from our own. Gadgets and economic inequality run amok in a world that's 98 per cent uninhabitable following chemical warfare. Certainly and interesting twist.

Ultimately though the film is a fast paced pastiche of stitched together moments from your favourite Philip K. Dick movies as if the filmmakers were not content to remake just one. The rain drenched world of Blade Runner moves seamlessly into the concrete jungle we remember from Total Recall. The high concept then skips expertly in a series of Mag lav car chases reminiscent of Minority Report and robot armies that seem to be reminding people of I, Robot, but which I would argue are much much much cooler in their design and capabilities.

The film is relentlessly paced to the point that you'll crave a quiet moment, if only to catch up with exactly what the mystery of the plot is (or decide if there even is one). Finally, Bryan Cranston is criminally underused.

All that said, Total Recall was fun enough and offered an intricate enough world for its characters to chase each other through that I enjoyed it. Verhoeven's original hasn't been dethroned.

One more thing: Kate Benkinsale kicks unholy ass in the movie. She's seriously awesome.

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Diggler (8 years ago) Reply

Good to see you guys are getting access to VIP cinemas. The only problem is you just can't go back to plain old cinemas any more, because they suck!

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