Two years on and Total Recall is still one of my favourite movies; it's the ultimate sci-fi action adventure. This remake is a blast of fast paced action with a breathtaking world at the centre of the story. Colin Farrell stars as Douglas Quaid, a factory worker who visits Rekall, a revolutionary company who can implant fake memories of a life their client's wish they had. Quaid's dreams of becoming a super spy soon become real as he is forced to go on the run and the line between what's real and what's not blurs.
What follows is a heart pounding chase movie that spans across the stunningly created world of the "UFB" and "The Colony", with landscape visual effects that are the best I have seen in years, you will be fully immersed into the world of Recall. Taking the lead role is Colin Farrell who plays Quaid this time round. I prefer Farrell over Schwarzenegger's original Quaid, Farrell seems more realistic and vulnerable whereas Arnold will always be Terminator to me, an unbreakable machine.
The supporting cast are excellent, they don't fall behind the main characters shadow and his world, they are very well fitted to the film. For me, the film really gets going when Kate Beckinsale turns to that sexy British accent of hers and reveals herself to Quaid, "I'm UFB police Intel, assigned to play your wife, six weeks ago I didn't even know you". They soon fight it out with brutality!
Kate Beckinsale snaps, switches to bad girl mode and every single camera shot of her is hot, and Beckinsale's evil facial expressions are awesomely sexy, gritting her teeth as she fires weapons, she propels this movie, a one woman killing machine filled with motivation to kill her target and a knack for defying her leaders orders.
Jessica Biel plays Melina, a lieutenant of the Resistance. Biel plays the innocent part, a sort of love interest for Quaid, and the moment she appears in the hover car my jaw dropped, she has authority and when she's in the action scenes she kicks ass. She has some witty lines, "Oh that's it I'm ending this bitch", shortly after getting shot at by Lori during a firefight. Jessica Biel carries the emotional bulk for the movie which is a big job and she does it well.
The best new is that the characters don't fall back behind the action; they are focused on closely during every scene even when they're being shot at and knocked about. I can't get over how exhilarating the sequences are, they are spectacular, each of them expertly crafted, very well shot and wild from start to finish with a solid mixture of practical and visual effects.
The Hover Car sequence is the best part of this epic adventure, it moves so fast you feel part of the chase thanks to seamless visuals, the world of the UFB in the background and a riveting pace. The camera focuses on the characters getting knocked about as they dodge and ram into traffic at ridiculous speeds. The elevator scene is suspenseful as Quaid and Melina jump from unbelievable heights to escape capture, there's a great catfight in a lift between Lori and Melina whilst Quaid fights a synthetic cop. I loved the rooftop escape from Quaid's home, and the finale on "The Fall" is explosive and brutal as knives slash and fists punch with ferocity, plus the zero gravity scene is jaw dropping. Harry Gregson Williams' soundtrack is perfectly fitted to all this excitement, in fact he enhances it even further.
My only gripe with this remake is the scene that sees Quaid and Melina board a train to go to the "No-Zone". The tone switches aggressively to a bleak, drained feeling, the dialogue is boring and it feels completely out of character for the films fast pace and compelling thrills. However, once Bill Nighy appears things slowly start to pick up and progress.
Len Wiseman's superb direction and lens flare effects give this movie a stunning visual flair, the excellent cast blend together very nicely along with a haunting and futuristic soundtrack that fits so well with the on-screen action, especially during the hover car chase and elevator sequence. The cast are spectacular, with Kate Beckinsale stealing the show. The special effects are outstanding; Total Recall is action glory and strong storytelling from top to bottom.