The 2012 remake of Total Recall (official site) is one of the most educational films I’ve seen in a while. It’s the 121-minute primer on How Not to Build Your Crapsack World, with bonus appendices on Assuring We Really Don’t Care About the Characters.
Since I’m in the midst of world-building for a nice dystopic novel about the music industry [insert crack about that not being science fiction here], I spent much of the movie mulling the profound lessons embedded therein. And I’m going to share them.
What I’m not going to do is dig up the original Philip K. Dick source material… as none of the movie-makers using it ever pay much attention to it. So if the movie does something annoying that’s also in the short story, it’s probably by accident and should have been changed anyway.
The Rule of Cool is Not Always Your Friend.
Premise: working-class hero Doug Quaid has such a crapsack life in a crapsack world that he seeks escape by paying Rekall to implant artificial memories of something livelier. Read the rest of this entry »