Total Recall

6.21 h 58 min2012X-RayUHDPG-13
A factory worker (Colin Farrell) becomes a hunted man after a procedure goes awry that would convert his dreams of life as a spy into real memories.
Len Wiseman
Colin FarrellLeigh FolsomBrian T. Delaney
Science FictionSuspenseActionAdventure
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Kate BeckinsaleCam ClarkeJessica BielBridget HoffmanBryan CranstonJohn ChoBill Nighy
Neal H. MoritzToby JaffeNeal Moritz
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.4 out of 5 stars

9003 global ratings

  1. 62% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 21% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 12% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

The Lazer VikingReviewed in the United States on March 11, 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars
Decent story, beautiful sci-fi scenery, great action add up for a worthy remake
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I had no real expectations about this movie, but came away impressed. I am a huge fan of science fiction films, but not enough to keep watching if the particular movie is absolutely atrocious or doesn't hold my interest. Fortunately, that wasn't the case at all here.

The very first thing I noticed was the very well-done backdrop upon which the story takes place. This isn't another sci-fi movie set on a sparsely populated desert or jungle planet with some aliens and laser guns thrown in to make it futuristic, or on some generic small space station in tight corridors. Nope, you see the whole Earth, big cityscapes, giant intra-planetary elevators connecting the hemispheres, dingy retro-futuristic slums, and much more, all brought to life with surprising attention to detail and style. And yeah, it really looks good.

Contrasting the previous incarnation of the film, the action doesn't take place on Mars, but on a post-nuclear war Earth with the two remaining governments existing in radiation-free zones in Europe and Australia. The British/European colony is your typical futuristic Utopia with a dirty little secret, while Australia / "The Colony" is portrayed as much grittier and darker. It's not quite dystopian per se, but it has a grungy mega-city feel clearly inspired by Blade Runner and maybe with a little bit of the "Dredd" remake aesthetic thrown in. This dichotomy brings to mind another recent film, Upside Down, which also had gorgeous visuals, but of a twin-planet system where the "Up Above" world was a veritable Utopia that fed off the poor, working class world of "Down Below." However, while Upside Down focused more on a dramatic love story and the clever - if implausible - premise, Total Recall is all about the action.

That action does not disappoint. There's a great exposition in the beginning, showing off and establishing the world and backstory, and introducing us to Colin Farrell's role as Quiad the factory worker. Once the inevitable secret is slipped, great chase and fight scenes abound, interspersed by segments which build on the story and add a decent (but not "thriller"-worthy) amount of suspense and mystery. As can be expected, CGI is highly utilized for the action, but it's well done and never feels like it's there just to exist.

The story is a fresh take on the original, but to me was just as appealing. The political and social overtones are there, but honestly aren't any more obvious than in something like, say, the original RoboCop (still haven't seen the remake of that one), which was very well received. Though I won't spoil it, the mystery behind the "original" Quaid and who he was/is kept me guessing literally til the end. The acting was also well done, bringing life to the story. Colin Farrell was particularly entertaining to watch. as he is good with the character-driven parts and very convincing with subtleties in his performance during the action. As a factory worker, Quaid knows he "shouldn't" know all these crazy action moves he is performing, and seems continually surprised by himself as his former-self's reflexes and hidden knowledge keep his present-self alive. All of the supporting roles are well played as well, with lots of big names offering quality acting, even when the script isn't the most outstanding.

Overall, I am very happy with this rendition of Philip K Dick's original story. I am more surprised than anything, really, because I had heard it was a very mediocre reboot, but as far as sci-fi action films go, I don't think you could ask for anything more. It combines visuals almost as beautiful as those in the sappy "Upside Down" with a backstory almost as clever as the one in "Source Code" with better action than either. I would highly recommend at least giving this iteration a try, for fans of action, adventure, or science fiction movies.

One thing to note was that the copy I ordered in early March 2014 had one short potion of the sound and dialogue completely out of sync with the picture. It was near the beginning and the issue was cleared in a couple of minutes, but it was still annoying. I'm thinking of asking for an item exchange, but I'm not sure if it's just on my copy or others as well, and honestly it may not even be distracting enough to be worth the return hassle.
2 people found this helpful
Chuck GudgelReviewed in the United States on September 16, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
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A decent remake on the original.
AliBaba40Reviewed in the United States on June 3, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
Better than the original!!
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A much better version of the movie than Arnold’s. Main character a lot more believable.
anonymousReviewed in the United States on December 25, 2012
3.0 out of 5 stars
Entertaining Film with Outstanding F/X & Audio Problems
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I would have given this product 4 stars, but the audio went out of sync with the video after the audio dropped out for a split second more than once. I've got about 200 BD's, and I've never had that issue before. I'm not alone with this problem as I just did a quick search on the Web and discovered others are having sync problems too, and it seems to be happening on a variety of players. (I'm using a PS3 Slim.) I was able to get the audio back in sync with the video by re-starting a chapter. Others said they did it by switching from Dolby TrueHD to PCM. Consumers shouldn't have to find a fix to this problem because Sony Pictures shouldn't have released a product with this issue. Shame on them. They need to do the right thing and issue a TOTAL RECALL of this disc and send consumers a corrected replacement... like Universal did a few years back with the "Jurassic Park" DVD's.

As for the film itself, I really like this film for what it is: a fun popcorn movie with outstanding visual effects and great (but somewhat flawed) surround sound. Aside from the sync issue, the soundtrack is what you'd expect from an action/sci-fi/popcorn film: loud with lots of explosions and gunfire. Thankfully, the rear surround channels aren't forgotten or under used as there's plenty of sound coming from them throughout the film. The visual effects are jaw-dropping at times. You know a lot of it is CG but most of the time it looks pretty darn convincing. I wouldn't be surprised if it's nominated for an Oscar for its visual effects. (If only this movie had been filmed in 3D. It certainly looks like it was meant to be. I hope we can look forward to a Blu-ray 3D release with an upgraded soundtrack to 7.1 channels down the road some day.)

Not being a fan of the original film, I found this "Total Recall" to be a big improvement. I know some feel exactly the opposite, and that's ok. To each his own. Personally, I'm not a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger's acting in general (unless he's playing a cyborg), and I didn't care for the cheesy jokes sprinkled throughout the original film (lines like "consider dat a divorce"). And even back in the day, I thought some of the visual effects were really bad (like when Arnold's character, the woman and the bad guy are all exposed to the Martian atmosphere and their eyes bulge out of their heads). That's not to say the new film is perfect. It's not a deep movie, but it's highly entertaining eye candy, and it features a few cool ideas for future technology, such as a cell phone in the palm of your hand (literally) and turning any piece of glass into a computer screen with just the touch of your hand. I don't know how plausible they are, but they're interesting nonetheless. I think the Extended Version is the better film as it fills in some blanks. It's a shame the extra footage wasn't seen in theaters, and it's a shame the director over did it with lens flare. It's out of control in this movie! But Colin Farrell is a much better actor than Schwarzenegger, and I don't think Kate Beckinsale ever looked hotter than she does in this movie. She also proves she can play a good villain.

This disc set comes with the usual extras you find nowadays (behind-the-scenes documentaries, flubs, etc.) as well as a UV copy. I give the film itself: 4 out 5 stars; the video presentation: 5 Stars; the audio presentation: 4 out of 5 stars (would have been 5 if not for the dropouts and sync problems).
2 people found this helpful
L.G. PioneerReviewed in the United States on June 28, 2013
4.0 out of 5 stars
Great film, BAD Dolby TrueHD Soundtrack
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Another reviewer said it perfectly, "Different enough from the original to be entertaining". I am not usually a big fan of movie remakes or re-boots, but this version of the Arnold classic put a twist on the original script to make it new again.

This is not an Arnold remake, rather a fresh new look at how the original story could have gone. Colin Farrell is great as Quaid, and the sexy Kate Bekinsale and Jessica Biel fill in the movie with good action and eye candy. Those who may complain about it not being as good as the original, you need to stop comparing them because they are not the same movie.

The only problem I had was with the Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. It constantly kept dropping out. I exchanged the movie for a replacement and it did the exact same thing at the exact same points in the film. It seems that this is a issue with several movie titles on BluRay discs using the Dolby TrueHD mode.

Amazon gave me a phone number for Sony to call about the issue (Which proves they know there IS an issue). Sony said to go into the menu of my BluRay player and change the digital audio output to PCM-Multi-Channel, and that should fix it.

Well, I did exactly what they said, and it did indeed fix the drop-outs. It was no longer a Dolby TrueHD soundtrack, but it was a PCM 7.1 surround track which sounds pretty darn good played through my system. The PCM audio sounds just as good as the Dolby TrueHD, so I don't feel like I am missing anything from the soundtrack. But the PCM audio does not drop out at any point in the film

Sony should RECALL (no pun intended) the BluRay discs of this movie, and reissue new discs with a Dolby TrueHD (or better yet) a superior DTS soundtrack that works. All Dolby modes are inferior to DTS sound. Dolby TrueHD claims they are lossless, but they still use a tiny bit of compression. DTS HDMA is 100% no compression and has a wider dynamic range than Dolby. DTS is truly lossless. It is why the majority of newer BluRay titles use only DTS HD Master Audio.
2 people found this helpful
joseph saccaReviewed in the United States on December 20, 2012
3.0 out of 5 stars
They need to try Again Poor remake !
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Fond memories of Paul Verhoeven's "Total Recall" kept coming back while watching this remake. Arnold Schwarzenegger's screen presence was also an added plus in the 1990 film, as well as the one-liners, Mars and of course heaps of bloody violence. If you've seen the original, then you know how it goes.

Len Wiseman's remake of the same name replaces Arnold with Colin Farrell, in his first lead action role in years, while eliminating Mars as the backdrop of the action and replacing it with an overpopulated Earth where transportation from one corner to another occurs, literally, straight through the center of the earth. The rugged subterranean mazes of the red planet is replaced with dizzying skyscrapers and lots of sleek, flying cars, not unlike Philip K. Dick's own "Blade Runner" and "Minority Report".

Farrell can act and is definitely a strong action lead and it shows here, as per the beautiful ladies Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel who both show off brawn over beauty here. Alas, everything is taken way too seriously in this version. I have fonder memories of the Verhoeven/Arnold version where one-liners come post-Arnie-kill. Gone. Certain characters are trimmed or even cut completely from the original. Bryan Cranston's Cohaagen makes me miss Ronny Cox even more, and Bill Nighy's resistance leader doesn't stand out compared to the 1990 film. The best thing the screenwriters did is to combine Sharon Stone's and Michael Ironside's characters from the 1990 film into one, and as portrayed by Kate Beckinsale, she kicks serious ass here.

The script is a near complete rehash of the original, save for the setting and the final act of the film. The scene where Bokeem Woodbine's character tries to convince Quaid (Farrell) where he's still in a dream is certainly a standout scene which was very well done. Alas, the majority of the movie is laced with action sequences and sensational special effects (seriously, this is CGI porn) that may get this film a nomination for Best Visual Effects this year. No kidding. While the editing is fast-paced and the cinematography sleek (with a little too much lens flare ala J. J. Abrams), the music score by Harry Gregson- Williams was kind of bland in my opinion. It was just there, does its job, and I didn't care. Where's Marco Beltrami; or even for that matter his legendary mentor, the late, great Jerry Goldsmith when you need them?

Director Wiseman has a knack for action sequences ("Underworld", "Die Hard 4") and it shows aplenty here. Sadly the script could've been a whole lot better, but then again, if they had set it on Mars it would've been a shot-for-shot remake with better characters, but still I would've loved to see action on the Red planet once again. The PG-13 rating is justified, and there are indeed little homages to the original, but overall this remake is nothing more than a fast-paced, popcorn munching good waste of time, with some really nice CGI to chew on.

However, I'd rather watch the old one again. Arnie has a much stronger screen presence than Farrell and it is much more ambitious and has more heart than this sleeker, newer one.
One person found this helpful
Richard KisselReviewed in the United States on May 9, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Good, But Different
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I like the original which never revealed whether Rekal was a success or a failure. This movie doesn't really beat around the bush and says the he really was a rebel spy against the empire, and just going through the motions of teasing at false memories.

The original short story was a twist within a twist within a twist, which I think today would be an improvement on the original film, as they could have done a lot more to make the viewer and the main character question what reality and illusion are, and whether choices have a real impact.

Aside from that, the beautiful scenery is very Cyberpunk-esque and makes for an impressive background to the story. The story itself isn't bad in any way, just different and less questionable.

Honestly, everything other than the cliche ending and villain leading his troops into battle so that it can force a direct confrontation--other than that, really, a lot of scenes were still fun and interesting and the plot didn't feel forced, so the pacing was excellent.

All-in-all, worth the price.
2 people found this helpful
M. BrittonReviewed in the United States on May 19, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
This 4K edition looks awesome compared to regular BD. Sad its only the theatrical cut.
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I admit it: I double dipped on this title (so soon) and glad I did!! I watched the extended version (which I love) and felt the video looked decent enough (maybe because of the lower bit rate?) but the colors just didn't pop out like they should for a 2013 blu ray. Good enough, I guess. I took the chance on getting this "newer" version transferred from 4K source (down to 1080p for standard blu ray) and was blown away after seeing this newer version. The colors really shine on this version and the detail is amazing! Most reviewers in high end web sites have stated they couldn't see or hear the difference. I know I sure can!! The 4K version is at much higher bit rate (maxing out at 42mbps or higher!) whereas the two versions on the first edition are crammed (with some special features)onto disc one. First offering they should have put each version on separate discs to maximize the bit rate. This is not just a typical drama/comedy here. This is eye-candy deluxe! The wonderful looking sets look immaculate on the 4K version and looking less so on the first edition.
The sound seems to be amped up too in the surrounds on this 4K version. Disappointed they didn't take advantage and upgrade the soundtrack to 7.1 instead of typical Dolby True HD 5.1. The soundtrack is still only 48kz and not the higher 96/24 which would make it sound more alive and real. Hopefully with red ray 2160p in the horizon, Sony will up the ante on their so-so soundtracks.
It is sad that Sony makes us higher end fans double dip so soon with this new release. Why did they not just release this one mastered from 4K source in the first place? Hope all new releases will be from 4K source from Sony in the future.
If you are a fan of home theater, do yourself a favor and get this 4K version of Total Recall. Too bad its only the theatrical cut. But it sure looks and sound amazing.
By the way, this region free disc has NO special features whatsoever. Really shows off with the higher bit rate. But we get this version to show off our system anyway!
Crank it up!!
Revision 3/21/14: Watching this on a 4K television is the ONLY way to go with this version. It is beyond words the great looking video. Would love to see this in REAL 4K! Looks great upconverted (from 1080p to 4K) from Oppo BDP-103 blu ray player onto Samsung UN55F9000 UHD TV.
One person found this helpful
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