Total Recall

  • 12
  • Len Wiseman (2012)
  • US
  • 113 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

The Philip K Dick short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale was made into a wildly over-the-top blockbuster in 1990, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. This reboot stars Colin Farrell as the vaguely dissatisfied factory worker who seeks to add some excitement to his life by visiting a company that implants false memories. After the procedure goes seriously awry, he learns he is really a spy and has to go on the run from the security forces controlled by the brutal Chancellor Cohaagen. Furthermore, his loving wife (Kate Beckinsale) is not who she seems to be and the woman in his dreams (Jessica Biel) is real. There's much to enjoy here: Colin Farrell is a more convincing Everyman than Schwarzenegger, the future world has been imaginatively designed and there are some thrilling chases on hover cars and in a giant commuter elevator that travels through the Earth's centre. But what was once an inventive concept now feels routine and director Len Wiseman (Die Hard 4.0) focuses on overblown visual effects at the expense of plot or credibility. Bryan Cranston doesn't have much to do as Cohaagen, leaving much of the villainous heavy lifting to Beckinsale (Wiseman's real-life wife), which she handles with efficient aplomb.

Plot Summary

A man living in a bleak future years after a nuclear war has fake memories of being a secret agent implanted into his brain. However, the procedure uncovers the fact that he really is a spy with his memory erased, and he is forced to become a fugitive from the totalitarian government. Sci-fi thriller remake, with Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel.

Cast and crew


Douglas Quaid / Hauser
Colin Farrell
Lori Quaid
Kate Beckinsale
Jessica Biel
Vilos Cohaagen
Bryan Cranston
Bokeem Woodbine
John Cho
Matthias Lair
Bill Nighy
Will Yun Lee


Len Wiseman

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Violence, swearing and nudity
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 29 Aug 2012
Certificate 12