A factory worker, Douglas Quaid, begins to suspect that he is a spy after visiting Rekall – a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to have led – goes wrong and he finds himself on the run.
What I thought of it:
When I was a kid, I loved the version of this film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. As an adult, I watched it again and although I still enjoyed it, could very easily see how hokey it was, and the special effects, although very special at the time, don’t really hold up to modern standards.
This version is a whole different kettle of fish.
The special effects are pretty spectacular, to be honest, and I like the fact that although Mars gets a brief mention (a character speaks of someone going to Rekall because they wanted to remember being King of Mars), the characters do not at any point actually go there. “Hang on, Total Recall with no Mars?” I hear you cry. Yup, no Mars, and I think it’s the better for it.
That said, despite the grittier realism of this remake, I didn’t like it any better than the original. In fact, what I liked best about it were the things that were the same (the character names and some of the smaller situations that were revisited), and also the knowing nods acknowledging certain lines and well-loved moments from Arnie’s explosive movie (“Two weeks!” anyone?).
I’ve never read the short story on which both movies are based (We Can Remember it for You Wholesale by Philip K Dick), so I have no idea which, if either, if closer to the source material, but both are worth a watch. If you like your special effects to look good, then go for the remake, otherwise just watch the original and have fun remembering a time when The Governator made big blockbuster movies.
Worth a watch if you like big action movie, but nothing particularly special.