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Review: Total Recall

Loud, humorless, and devoid of irony
By PETER KEOUGH  |  August 7, 2012
2.0 2.0 Stars



For a writer who has defined contemporary paranoia, Philip K. Dick hasn't had luck with the adaptations of his work. Only Ridley Scott's BladeRunner and Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly stand out. Even Paul Verhoeven couldn't pull off a convincing Total Recall (1990). Len Wiseman's remake is no exception; it's loud, humorless, and devoid of irony. Colin Farrell brings two expressions — bewilderment and resolve — to his portrayal of Douglas Quaid, a factory worker in a grim post-apocalyptic world. As in Metropolis or The Hunger Games, the planet is divided between the haves and the have-nots like Quaid, who seeks escape through Rekall, a service that instills false memories of more exciting lives. In his, he's a secret agent — or is it real? Many chases, gunfights, and elements of films ranging from A.I to Star Wars to the aforementioned Blade Runner follow, but none of the metaphysical angst that characterizes Dick's genius.

  Topics: Reviews , Boston, short take, exciting,  More more >
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