The day is finally here. The Total Recall reboot has hit theaters and the flood of bad reviews and irate comparisons to the AH-NOLD original has started! The futuristic memory implantation identity crisis sci-fi flick is actually inspired by the short story, “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick, so technically this is the third iteration of this story. Nonetheless, director Len Wiseman and a herd of screenwriters (which would explain a lot about the movie’s fragmented story) tackled the project with vigor and a whole lotta fist fights, gun fights, million dollar chase sequences, dystopian scenery, and a ridiculous amount of soulless digital effects that will make the audience eyes widen with childhood delight.
With so much going on in this movie, I took it upon myself to make a list of 15 things (most of them recurring) that you should look out for while watching this movie. Not only does it make watching this Total Recall experience tolerable, but it prevents you from going into digital effects overload. It also distracted me from my irrational hatred for Jessica Biel.
The excessive use of the lens flare: First the Star Trek reboot and now the Total Recall reboot? Lens flares must be really abundant in our future.
The use of the Inspector Gadget phone: Remember in the Inspector Gadget cartoon when he would use his hand as a phone? Well, Total Recall totally stole the idea from him, but instead of having an antenna come out from your thumb, your hand just lights up like a pinball machine.
Using a glass pane as a video phone: As an added feature to the Inspector Gadget, you can put your hand on any glass pane and make the phone call into a video phone call — much like Skype. This must make Cam2Cam sex shows very difficult.
Underworld actor roll call: Wiseman is known for being the Godfather of all those Underworld movies so it just makes sense he would hire on Kate Beckinsale (who is also his wifey) and Bill Nighy to star in this vehicle. I wish he would have included Scott Speedman in the mix. (#TeamBen #Felicity)
7th Heaven actors: Jessica Biel got her start on that wholesome WB show, 7th Heaven. We must NEVER forget that. Also, if I haven’t mentioned it before, I have an irrational hatred for her.
Bryan Cranston doesn’t cook meth in this movie. Sorry folks. He doesn’t. But he is an asshole in the movie if that’s any consolation.
REI Storm Troopers: In addition to a bunch of robots that look like kitchen appliances, the Total Recall world has an army that is outfitted by the snow patrol/Storm Trooper department of REI.
Kate Beckinsale running/jumping from one thing to another: I lost count of this after the 10th time.
Colin Farrell constantly talking to himself: Farrell’s character (Douglas Quaid, Hauser or whoever he is) left a trail of bread crumbs via ambiguous holographic video messages to remind himself who the hell he is and they don’t help him at all. I think he is just vain and wanted to look at himself talk.
Leaping: Whether it is from an explosion or a foot chase from building to building, there is definitely no shortage of leaping in this movie. And, of course, Kate Beckinsale does it the best!
Dreadlocks: Just when I was about to give up on seeing dreadlocks as an indication of futuristic badassness and rebellion, I was introduced to not one, but TWO bit players with the ratty hairdo. They died shortly after.
Fighting in confined spaces: I have to applaud Wiseman for setting fist fights in very tight spaces. One was in an elevator another was in an ambulance. Next time he should go even smaller. Perhaps a phone booth? Port-o-potty? Clown car?
Saying “shit” to indicate something has gone terribly wrong. Here’s a helpful tip: when something obstructs a character’s end goal, they say “shit!” And since there is no other word to indicate this, they use this a lot.
Robot dismemberment: Although it’s not as fun as human dismemberment, there are a lot robot body parts that get thrown about during the movie.
The illustrious three boobed hooker: The one and only reason why both versions of this movie is in the pop culture lexicon.