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Total Recall

Is it real? Is it recall? 

Year: 2012 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Len Wiseman 
Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston  
An image from Total Recall

As a futuristic war rages around him, factory worker Quaid (Farrell) grows tired of his day to day life, despite the constant love and affection of his beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale). Enlisting in the seedy “Recall” program, Quaid chooses to create new memories from scratch, deciding that a faux period spent as a sleuth might be just the thing he needs to spice up his existence. However the procedure is fumbled and Quaid becomes a wanted man, his notion of becoming a spy perhaps based more on truth than wishful thinking.

1990’s Total Recall was a sharp, frantic burst of goofball sci-fi, however this remake promises a firmer adherence to the dystopian paranoia pioneered in the writing of prominent science fiction author Phillip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep). Director Len Wiseman displayed credible chops in his last big screen explosion-a-thon, 2007’s Die Hard 4.0 and his faultless command of action set-pieces and visual spectacle is no less prevalent in Total Recall (2012), undeniably a sensational piece of eye-candy. Wiseman’s dedication to slick aesthetics is a perfect bedfellow for Phillip K. Dick’s innovative sci-fi creativity, recalling the look and feel of other classic genre entries Blade Runner and The Matrix.

Farrell also marks an encouraging choice, Wiseman choosing a leading man who brings depth, credibility and tremendous physicality to his work. Just as in Phone Booth, In Bruges and last year’s Fright Night, Farrell calmly dominates the frame, commanding attention and audience interest with his charismatic and engaging blend of pathos and more traditional magnetism. The supporting cast are a strong bunch as well; Bryan Cranston, Beckinsale, Ethan Hawke and Bill Nighy on hand to further flesh out Wiseman’s reimagining.

Daniel Kelly

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Screenings of this film:

2012/2013 Autumn Term (35mm)
2012/2013 Autumn Term (35mm)