When I first saw the trailer for Total Recall  in theaters a few months back I immediately started counting down the days that Bokeem Woodbine would be in a feature film in 2012!
Seriously, Bokeem Woodbine is one of my favorite actors since I was a kid cause I could tell there was a lot more actor to him than just what seemed to be the typecasted roles he landed in the 90′s.
And speaking of the 90′s, I only remember 3 things from the original Total Recall:
1. The woman with 3 breasts (No, that’s not all 3 things I remember) 2. The sophisticated identity-changing mask 3. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s eyes popping out on Mars. It was my intention to watch the original again but I’m lazy and never blasted all of my social media feeds with a “who’s original Total Recall DVD can I borrow?” status.
The year is 2084 and the earth has been decimated by chemical warfare leaving only the landmasses formerly known as Great Britian and Australia habitable, now known as the United Federation of Britain and the Colony. Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) is an avergage Joe living on (or is it in?) the Colony working a blue collar job who thinks to himself “this can’t be life” 10 times a day. A recurring nightmare piques his interest in Rekall, a spa for you to live a fantasy as if it’s real. Harry (Bokeem Woodbine), Doug’s best friend, urges “Dougie” to stay away from Rekall, that it’ll mess up his mind but Doug’s couriousity gets the better of him. Doug’s visit to Rekall sets off a chain of events the pits the entire United Federation of Britain and his wife, Lori Quaid (Kate Beckinsale) against him. The only person not trying to kill him is Melina (Jessica Biel) but is she dragging him deeper into his fantasy or leading him toward the light of the truth?
The action in the movie was almost overwhelming. I seriously would like to see the screenplay for the movie cause it can’t be more than 45 pages long – the average is 120 but even with all of the action I didn’t think it was overdone. For all I knew as a viewer and for all Doug knew, it was his unconscious secret agent fantasy playing out so of course there’s non-stop action. And that wasn’t a spoiler, or was it? I don’t know, maybe YOU’RE in Rekall fantasizing about reading this review. Ahem. In addition to the action, the political undertones of government false-flag operations were definitely fitting for 2012 and I think it was a relevant update from the 1990 version.
Total Recall  ignited a storm of “Hollywood is out of original ideas” banter on my social media feeds alone so I can only imagine what the interwebs were saying because, supposedly, about half of the movies in theaters this summer are remakes. I don’t mind remakes at all and as far as Total Recall  goes I thought it would be interesting to see what today’s technology could bring to an older sci fi flick. From my experience as a DJ in college I know familiarity draws crowds unlike unknown material no matter how great a new original idea may be. My case and point – John Carter. Who is that? IT is a movie, Disney’s worst grossing movie of all time but I loved it! However no one was familiar with the John Carter story, including me but I took a chance on it, but everyone is familiar with the sci fi tales it inspired like Star Wars, Superman, and Flash Gordon only to name a few.
So I don’t blame Hollywood for trying to “save face” after 1 big budget box office bomb this year but banking on the familiarity of Total Recall circa 1990 to draw in crowds seemed as much of a gamble. My recommendation: if you want to see Total Recall then go see it but if you had no interest in it then stay home, or see another movie.
Movie Moment of Zen:
My high school physics teacher was right, you’d be weightless at the center of the earth and of course BOKEEM WOODBINE IS IN A FEATURE FILM IN 2012!
Check out my partner in cyber crime, J’s review of Total Recall  on our blog, www.steveandj.tv.
Disclaimer: I’m an employee of Turner Broadcasting, a division of Time Warner,however the views expressed in this post are of my own.