Review: Total Recall (2012)

Review: Total Recall (2012)

I wasn’t gonna do this one, but I got requests for it, so…

I did see the original Total Recall. I actually love it in all it’s campy-ness. I’m not a big fan of Schwarzenegger in anything but Kindergarten Cop (he was damn funny in that), but I didn’t exactly hate him in Total Recall. Then someone got the bright idea to remake it. I was thrilled! I couldn’t wait to see it with today’s updated CGI magic.

To whomever wrote the changes in and whomever approved them, I hope giant fire ants find their way into your beds and bite you in the face.

The sad thing is, it’s not the changes to the story itself that bothers me. Well, okay, maybe the complete lack of MARS pisses me off. Like Tyger said to me yesterday, “It’s like King Kong without the New York part.” Oh, and there’s the fact that as a viewer, I was never questioning what was real for Quaid and what wasn’t. That was what made the original movie for me was I could never tell if he was good, if he was bad; if he was dreaming, if he was living it; and I didn’t have that weird satisfaction of–no matter what the answers were–he chose to be Quaid rather than Hauser.

Enough about that, though. What really pissed me off was the insult on top of the injury.

Evidently science doesn’t exist anymore in the Total Recall world. Or, more likely, “Fuck believability! This is a cool idea! Besides, our audience is dumb as dirt, anyway” had to have been said at least once and probably more. Not five seconds into the movie, not a single actor on screen, and they lost me to (I’m not kidding here) a 20 minute bullet train through Earth’s core. To be fair, they only shook me a little at that point with it. Then, about 10 minutes into the movie, they show the commute ride itself.

First off, there’s absolutely nothing that indicates protection against the approximate 5700 kelvin (aka 5430 °C/9800 °F) as they pass through the core. Quaid is questioning everything in that scene, why is that not part of it?! I’m surprised no one’s sweating, looking worried, anything! They’re supposed to be from the suppressed colony on Australia; a dime a dozen. So, why aren’t they at least worried the main government isn’t maintaining this train of death? Not to mention what about the pressure of being in the core? What’s keeping that train from being smushed by the pressure alone?

And speaking of pressure… Gravity reversal at the core?! Seriously?? My mind is so blown with the scientific impossibility of that, I don’t even know how to begin expressing it. Gravity is the attraction of two masses to each other. You can’t just reverse that; and, again, they’re in Earth’s CORE! The CORE!!! Where the gravity is so intense there’s nothing but melted rocks! LAVA, for crying out loud! And why bother at all? They’re going almost 400MPH for this trip! That’s TWICE the speed of terminal velocity!

::pant, wheeze, gasp::

Even after treating the Total Recall remake as it’s own movie, separate from the original, I can’t find a single redeeming quality. It’s an insult to fans of the original, an insult to newcomers, and full of rookie mistakes in the Sci-Fi genre. Someone needs to go back to film school after this one.

Review Score
Adapting a story that was believable in itself to something that makes no sense is a bad, bad move.
Overall, it was the exact same plot as the original. For that, I am grateful.
The original wasn't fantastic to begin with, but it was surprising it could be made worse.