Total Recall (2012): the komplexified script

No, not the good Ah-nold one.

[ The post-apocalyptic bio-weapon ravaged future, where the only two habitable places on Earth are England and Australia, which connected to each other only by a single gravity train called The Fall. ]

Colin Farrell: I’m a blue-collar working-class guy just trying to make a living in this dystopian future whilst lamenting about the nature of consciousness and free will in my spare time.   I may also be a good guy or a bady guy in this movie.   Why, I totally don’t recall that I played this same character in Minority Report.

Kate Beckinsdale: I’m a sexy British secret agent with a penchant for tight-fitting black clothes, kung fu, and fully automatic handguns.   I can also leap from impossibly tall buildings and still stick the landing in by latex boots.    Why, I totally don’t recall that I played this same character in the Underworld movies.

Colin: Ack! I just had another completely foreshadowing nightmare involving Jessica Biel!   These secret agent nightmares are ruining my life; therefore, I shall go to Rekall and have them stick more secret agent dreams into my head. What could go wrong?

[ Colin walks from his apartmentthrough what the audience definitely recalls as every exterior set used in Blade Runner. He goes to the Rekall office and meets cheif brain scrambler.]

Colin: John Cho from J.J. Abram’s Star Trek?   That would explain all the lens flare in this movie.

In the future…you won’t be able to see a goddammed thing.

So will these new memories feel real?

John Cho:   What is real?   How do you define real?   If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by the brain.   Now, take this blue pill and sit into this chair while I plug your brain into a virtual world in which you are the savior.   Why, I can’t recall any similarities between this and Morpheus in Matrix movies.

[ Just then a number of evil agents bursts into the room and shoots the hell out of everybody… except Colin, who defeats them with the power of Bullet TimeTM! ]

Colin: Whoa.   I know kung fu.

[ Colin runs home and tells his wife. ]

Kate: Sorry, Colin, but you’re actually a spy with computer-induced amnesia.   I suppose I could use any of the many tranquilizers I keep in my medical bag to subdue you and have you brainwashed again, but I’d rather just kill you.

[ Colin and Kate fight for a while, and then chase each other through a city that consists of a seemingly endless sequence of floating ledges that audiences will recall from Super Mario Bros.   Colin punches a brick, powers up with a mushroom that tells him he’s really a secret agent, and escapes by riding The Fall from Australia to England. ]

Colin: This is a cool 17-minute trip with a nifty weightless “gravity reversal” switcheroo in the middle.   But… if the gravity train was in free-fall the whole time, I should experience weightlessness the whole time… so that doesn’t make any sense.

Moreover, given the known average density of the Earth’s crust, mantle, and core and assuming a frictionless fall, physics says this trip would actually take about 46 minutes, so not only are we not experiencing free-fall, we’re actually accelerating rather rapidly the whole trip, meaning we should instead be plastered to the ceiling on the way down.

And that’s assuming we weren’t already completely barbecued by the intense twelve-thousand degree temperature at the core…

You know what?   This is stupid.   I should’ve got my ass to Mars instead.

[ The Fall arrives in England.   A portly redheaded woman announces her stay will be “Two weeks” after which Colin is discovered wearing the digital mask of an Asian man.   This bit of original Total Recall trolling would have been especially clever if it weren’t for the fact that the   immediately preceding scene showed the Asian man as one of Colin’s assumed identities. ]

Colin: Oh, crap.   I’d better escape through this crowded building while a bunch of sleek white robots hunts me down in collusion with the police.   I totally don’t recall something just like this happening in I, Robot.

[ Just then a sexy chick in latex appears in a souped up car just as our hero is about to be caught. ]

Jessica Biel: Get in!   Quick, before I recall that this looks exactly like Quorra saving Sam in Tron Legacy.

[ Colin gets in.   They flee, pursued by the cops using futuristic cars hovering over a magnetic track.   ]

Colin: Wait, we’re stealing from Minority Report again?

Jessica:   Oops, hold on.

[ She swerves to a side road, in which the cars now float in the air, magnetically suspended below a magnetic track. ]

Jessica: How about we steal from  The Fifth Element instead?

Three movie rip-offs in one car chase? That’s gotta be some kind of record.

[ They crash the car conveniently close to Colin’s pre-amnesia apartment, where he discovers an interactive hologram. ]

Holographic Colin: My responses are limited.   You must ask the right questions.

Colin: What, we’re back to ripping off I, Robot?

Holographic Colin: This whole movie’s a rip off. Be thankful there’s a scene with the hot triple-tittied hooker again.

Admit it… this was what you wanted to see in Total Recall.

Listen, you’re really not you, you’re really a bad guy who’s secretly a good guy deep down.

[ The robo-cops and Kate show up at the apartment, where they have a fight inside a smallish cubical elevator that zips along the x-, y-, and z-axes amongst a maze of other similarly moving cubes.   Occasionally folks get dismembered when they try to leave the box from the wrong direction. ]

Colin: I totally don’t recall this from Cube!

[ They escape. ]

Jessica: We need to escape the city and see Mathias, the Kuato-character in this movie, played by Bill Nighy.

Colin: Cool.   The creepy little gut-mutant from the original Total Recall is being played by an actor known for playing the hideously decomposed boss vampire in Underworld and the anthropomorphic squid pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean 2. I can’t wait to see the make-up on him in this movie.

Completely ordinary Bill Nighy: ‘Ello.

Colin: Poop.

[ The robo-cops and Kate show up again, this time with Brian Cranston, who is the evil mastermind Cohaagen.   They kill Bill Nighy, capture Jessica Biehl, and attempt to reprogram Colin Farrell again by plugging him into another Matrix-style chair. But because he is The One, he escapes.   Or something.   All these sci-fi movies are starting to look the same to me. ]

Colin: I need to get back on The Fall to stop the bad guys from sending their robo-cops to kill everyone in Australia for some reason or other.   I’ll fight off all various bad guys in this   multi-story building-like elevator with no means of escape, armed only with this hand-gun.   I totally don’t recall anything like this happening in Die Hard.

[ The building begins to move. ]

Colin: …Or Die Hard 2.

[ The fight includes a number of baddies who bounce around the walls like they’re free-runners. ]

Colin: …Or Die Hard 4.

[ Eventually The Fall lands in Australia, whereupon Colin — who we’ve already established is sharp-shooting, kung-fuing, super spy — gets his ass repeatedly beat down by a middle-aged politician. ]

Bryan Cranston: Apparently Breaking Bad is paying off for me!

[ Fortunately, Jessica shows up in a grounded plane and machine-guns the hell out of Bryan and his robot reinforcements. ]

Jessica: I totally don’t recall this from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

[ Kate Beckinsdale shows up one last time for what promises to be a full-on martial-arts throwdown, but Colin simply shoots her instead. ]

Colin: What was that about Raiders?

[ They blow up The Fall. ]

Colin: Wait… in the original Total Recall, my character powers up alien technology that terraforms Mars into a lush, living planet, giving humanity a new place to live and hope for their otherwise dangerously expanding population.   In this movie, my character blows up an elevator, thereby isolating the last two groups of humanity from each other, effectively speeding up their eventual demise.

Jessica: They should have called this Total Ripoff instead.


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