Farrell plays a man who lets outsiders mess with his mind, and the confusion of what's a real memory and what's not has him on the run.
While the non-stop action of the film will keep audiences on the edge of their movie seats, it's different when you're actually making the movie.
"Not as tense as that. That's the whole thing, there's so much air and dead space and stuff," Farrell said. "But having said that, there's a couple of scenes in the film ... that were fairly intense."
Director Len Wiseman utilizes a masterful mix of visual effects and real sets to bring the "Total Recall" world to life. One thing that wasn't real was the injuries. Farrell's character gets pretty banged up, but that was all just movie magic.
"I was gash free for the whole shoot," he said. "I mean I got a few bruises and welts, but nothing on the face."
Farrell returns to his indie roots in November with the film "Seven Psychopaths." It's a comedy co-starring Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell.
"Total Recall" is in theaters Friday.