Total Recall, the remake of the 1990 original starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, is an exceptionally fun thrillride. It may not be the best film to ever grace the screen, but when a movie can provide me with enough fun and excitement I can overlook its shortcomings. There are problems with the story and some of the acting, but the art direction and the incredible action sequences dazzle.
The original Total Recall (1990) is more campy than serious, and the technology was obviously less advanced. The world that has been created in this version is much more emmersive and vibrant. Total Recall looks great, and as I was watching it I realized that it takes place in one of the most brilliantly rendered sci-fi settings that I've seen on screen in awhile. The art direction is one of the films biggest strengths; I admire the filmmakers' use of actual sets and props. It adds to the film's immersive feel.
The action here is superb, and some of the best I've seen since 2009's Avatar. There is a lot of it here, too; more than half of the film's running time is filled with these amazing sequences. There is a great variety of shooting, chases, and death-defying feats of agility sprinkled throughout. I'll leave it at this: I had more fun with the action here than did with other action-heavy films this year, such as The Avengers and The Amazing Spiderman.
There are things wrong with the experience, though. The story is just straight up confusing, but not in a thought-provoking way that films like Inception (2010) or Fight Club (1999) manage to be. There are characters that say things early in the film that you think will lead to something in the end, but it is never mentioned again. The motivation for the main villain makes little sense once the film progresses and details are revealed. I feel like if they dropped the "Total Recall" title and premise and just made this a straight-up spy/action sci-fi flick, the story would flow easier and make more sense. The script is your standard action movie fare, and most of the acting is sub-par. You'll find yourself questioning why you should care about the main characters when so little is revealed about their past.
Overall, Total Recall is a solid, exciting experience that you should go see if you're in the mood for an immersive action thrillride. I had a lot of fun, so therefore I give the film a 6/10.