There are four elements that make a sci-fi movie like this good.
- A good scifi concept. In this case, memory implantation and ‘can we be sure our memories are real?’
- A good plot as a vehicle to explore the sci-fi concept.
- Good sci-fi city and techno scapes. A visual depiction of what our sci-fi context looks like. Keep it looking pretty.
- Action sequences to keep it interesting, so it’s not otherwise just dialog.
Often movies will just focus on the last two points, making a generic action movie set in whatever context – scifi, western, gritty gangster etc, without actually exploring a concept or telling an original story.
Unfortunately, Total Recall is one of these movies.
It starts out interesting enough, and very much mirrors the original Total Recall to start, right down to the original ‘bored guy decides to get Recall, and then turns out his wife is a bad guy’. There is the initial ‘Is this just a false memory, or is he really a spy?’ moments, but from there it’s just a generic action movie.
The movie is two hours and ten minutes long, which is far too long for a generic action movie.
The movie has its good moments, but that’s outweighed with it otherwise being pretty boring and predictable.
I give this movie a 4/10. Pretty, and some good moments, but perfectly missable.