Philip K. Dick (short story) / Mark Bomback (screenplay)
August 3rd, 2012
Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi
PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, some sexual content, and language.)
$55,869,625 (USA) $79,500,000 (Foreign) [Sept 1st, 2012]
Doug Quaid / Hauser
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The icily impenetrable Kate Beckinsale, Wiseman’s wife in real life, plays a woman so dedicated to her task, she starts to resemble a video-game villain—whenever there’s a lull in the action, out she pops from the shadows for another round of kickboxing. Jessica Biel, as the nice girl (or maybe just a hologram of a nice girl) who helps Quaid adjust to his new identity, is so physically similar to Beckinsale it’s sometimes hard to tell them apart—perhaps a deliberate choice on the director’s part, but if so, he should have included more scenes that played on the resemblance. As for Farrell, his sad-eyed, permanently quizzical face is well-suited for playing a character whose identity keeps becoming subject to erasure.
Just because it’s rarely original doesn’t mean Total Recall is never any fun; this is a taut, serviceable sci-fi thriller with a couple of neat visual ideas, and if you’re not familiar with either the Schwarzenegger version or the original story, the brain-bending twists alone will take you a reasonably long way.– Dana Stevens (Slate)
The film does a detailed job of creating its cities, which in the federation is a towering futuristic marvel, and the colony seems to be countless small hovels endlessly stacked on top of one another, like the dwellings you can see clinging to the sides of other buildings on Hong Kong. Quaid gets involved in chases in both places, which require the ability to jump from great heights without breaking his ankles, or (it seems to me) his legs. One clever chase sequence involves his character and a resistance member named Melina (Jessica Biel) jumping onto and off a maze of vertical and horizontal elevators; it’s sort of an action version of 3-D chess.
“Total Recall” is well-crafted, high energy sci-fi. Like all stories inspired by Philip K. Dick, it deals with intriguing ideas. It never touched me emotionally, though, the way the 1990 film did, and strictly speaking, isn’t necessary.– Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times)
Quaid’s daily commute gives him just enough time to read a few pages of Ian Fleming’s The Spy Who Loved Me. (Anachronism alert: He’s got a ’60s-vintage paperback!) Quaid is an espionage buff, so when a coworker tells him about the fun he can have at Rekall, he opts for the secret agent package. Next thing you know, he’s shooting at platoons of robot police (second cousins to the stormtroopers of Star Wars) and lost in a mind-tripping maze of intrigue. Biel, stoic and statuesque, plays the rebel fighter Melina, and serves as Quaid’s tour guide. She’s plotting to depose the Federation’s despotic chancellor (Bryan Cranston). Can Quaid trust her? Can he trust himself?
Strip away the video-game visual effects, the endless chases and zero gravity shootouts, and Total Recall comes down to this: What is reality? And in which reality, with which woman – Beckinsale or Biel – do you want to live?– Steven Rea (Philadelphia Inquirer)
- Filmed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
- Jessica previously starred in NEXT (2007) which was also based on a short story by Phillip K. Dick.
- Kate Bosworth and Diane Kruger were considered for the role of Lori, and Eva Green, Rosario Dawson and Paula Patton were considered for the role of Melina. Eva Mendes was considered for both roles.
- Ethan Hawke was cast, but his scenes were never filmed. Jessica explained he was going to be playing Quaid before Cohaggen had gotten a hold of him, but they didn’t feel the audience would connect as strong to the character.
“Get in, I’ve been looking for you everywhere.”
“What we have been doing a lot lately is that we are in our harnesses doing wirework, but we are lifted on this big elevator that moves in all of these different directions and we are dropping onto it. I roll off by accident, he grabs me, I am dangling, lifting, and climbing back on to this box that is floating in space. Are we 30 feet up or so? — It is that kind of physical stuff as well. There is a lot of hand-to-hand combat. Kate [Beckinsale] and I have a cool fight where we do that. Colin does a lot of that. Then we fire a lot of weapons and do a lot of running.”
[On fighting Kate Beckinsale] “We kept asking each other if we were OK, it was really funny,” says Biel. “But we really didn’t want to have a girly fight. So we just got back into it.”
Additional cast and credits. Plot summary and more.
The Official Website for “Total Recall”.