Total Recall has a Minority Report hangover. The reason could be that both trace their origin to the works of the same writer, Philip K Dick.
But more than that, it is director Len Wiseman's treatment and handling that recalls Minority Report (and a bit of Blade Runner, if you will).
Set in a futuristic time when the world is ravaged by warfare, Total Recall begins at a dystopian moment when much of the population has crammed into United Federation of Britain and the Colony which is, in fact, erstwhile Australia. It is in the Colony that the assembly line factory worker Doug Quaid (Collin Farrell) lives with his wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale) and uses what is called the Fall, a space shuttle, to travel to work.
Clearly, he leads a tedious life and worse, is being tortured by nightmares that galvanise him into doing something 'important.'
This leads him to Rekall, a company that helps implant artificial memories to him and he soon learns that he has been a spy before. As the lines between fact and fiction, real and illusion blur, Quaid is up for mysteries and revelations difficult to comprehend at first. The woman who appears in his visions turns out to be Melina (Jessica Biel), his ex-lover.
Total Recall is as much about mind and memory as high-end gadgetry and dystopian mayhem. From first scene to last, there is a touch of speed and spectacle. Visually, it's nearly as good as any film of the sci-fi genre.
One of the reasons why the film works is that it does not pretend to be cerebral like Memento and other such films and instead, follows the rule it seems to have set out for itself -- to hammer it out as sleekly as possible.
In light of that, Total Recall is an adrenaline-pumping effort, engaging and entertaining at the same time.