There comes a time in every cinema goer’s life when he realises despite the completely new actors, effects, concepts and plotline he has seen every inch of the movie before.
Total Recall is set in a future world where the earth (ruined by our stupidity as usual) is inhabited in Europe and Australia. However The United Federation of Britain (Europe) is the big boss, demanding workers from the Colony (Australia - Yes they actually call themselves that) to support their evil imperialist aims. Imagine Winston Churchill’s dreams of British Empire crossed with futuristic cliché and you have the idea.
In the midst of this is a story about a man with two identities. Colin Farrell, married to Kate Beckinsale visits a company (Rekall) to give him memories he can return to in the squalor of his existence in the Colony. But his brain holds its own secrets and soon all hell is let loose as Farell scrambles across the remnants of society to discover the truth.
There are a few nice innovations and nods to the 1990 Paul Verhoeven classic. But the reboot misses a trick. The film is half as clever as it thinks it is, and it doesn’t give itself that much credit. Beckinsale (star of lycrasmash Underworld) is dull, Farell looks lost, Jessica Biehl is stunning and Bill Nighy bemused by the whole affair.
It really does feel like a movie you’ve seen already despite all the innovation and the effect is quite disconcerting. It’s a half marks and a must try harder. I recommend if you want a movie this week you take the other half for a good meal and wait for Dredd.