“Hotshots” looks at a movie!


Total Recall is the 2012 version of the 1990 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and if you have seen the first film, you will keep asking yourself whether you remember it or whether it is a false memory.

One thing is sure, however: Colin Farrell is a better actor than Ah-nold.

Spoiler Alert! The story begins with a dream. Or maybe not.

Doug Quaid has been having a recurring nightmare, and he wakes up in bed with his wife, Lori, played by Kate Beckinsale.

Doug lies to her about the dream–or maybe not–and when she leaves for work, Doug says, “Sleep scares me.”

The time is the future, and there are only two places on Earth left inhabitable: the United Federation of Britain, which is where Great Britain is now, and the Colony, which is where Australia is now.

Doug lives in the Colony, but he works in Britain as an assembly worker, making the commute to and from work in “the Fall,” a super elevator between the two through the center of the earth.

Well, Doug is bored with his life, and after work he goes to a Rekall Lounge where he can have exciting memories implanted in his brain.

However, something goes wrong–or maybe it doesn’t–and the next thing he knows, robotic policemen called “Synthetics” are trying to kill him. So, maybe his choice of memory implant for “secret agent” worked, or maybe it didn’t because he was a secret agent all along with lost memories.

Anyway, a woman named Melina, played by Jessica Biel, shows up to save him, and she is a resistance fighter who claims that he is one, too. Or is he?

Could he be a double agent for the Establishment pretending to be working for the Resistance, could he be pretending to be working for the Establishment but really working for the Resistance, or could everything that is happening to him just be the memory implant from the Rekall Lounge?

What should you believe and what should you disbelieve? When does it stop being interesting and just a screen filled with a confusing story and lots of explosions and special effects, which for this movie are called “visual effects”?

When does the suspension of disbelief become the suspension of belief?

Total Recall is nothing more than total overkill.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”