Recalling an action classic

Undated Film Still Handout from Total Recall. Pictured: Quaid (Colin Farrell). See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Sony Pictures Releasing. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Undated Film Still Handout from Total Recall. Pictured: Quaid (Colin Farrell). See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Sony Pictures Releasing. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

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Total Recall (12A, 118 mins)
Sci-Fi/Action/Thriller
 Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel
 Director: Len Wiseman
Released: Wednesday August 29

In the late 21st century, Earth is a radioactive wasteland apart from two outposts on opposite sides of the planet: the prosperous United Federation of Britain and the polluted, rain-saturated Colony, home to millions of workers.

Factory worker Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell) lives in this hellhole with his wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale) and travels to work in the UFB with best friend Harry (Bokeem Woodbine) via The Fall: a giant elevator running close to the Earth’s core which links the two settlements.

Unfulfilled and frustrated, Doug visits Rekall, a shadowy company which promises to realise clients’ dreams by implanting artificial memories.

Shortly before the procedure takes hold, Rekall technician McClane (John Cho) discovers that Doug’s memory has been wiped.

In the blink of an eye, the factory worker’s world implodes and he goes on the run in the company of rebel agent Melina (Jessica Biel).

This testosterone-fuelled remake of the 1990 Paul Verhoeven action adventure is bombastic fun so long as you disengage your brain and submit to the gargantuan leaps in logic.

Fans of the Arnold Schwarzenegger version will be two steps ahead of the screenwriters but directorial brio and eye-popping special effects hold our interest when there is nothing on screen to fire our little grey cells.

Wiseman directs set pieces with aplomb, including a high-speed hovercar chase and a dizzying pursuit through a tower block’s horizontal and vertical lift shafts.

Farrell energetically flexes his muscles and adopts a permanent look of befuddlement.

Beckinsale chews scenery, while Biel attempts to add depth to her two-dimensional heroine.

n Swearing, No sex, Violence
n Rating: 6/10