• “If I wanted to spend 2 hours watching a woman refusing to use logic while arguing, I could have just had lunch with my mother-in-law.” – Ron Chee, Stettler Tribune
  • “I have a hyper-aggressive nephew who likes to pick fights at high school, and he even bit a classmate last week. As punishment, he had to watch this movie, and he hasn’t even raised a fist since.” – I. C. Yadick, the Airdrie Times
  • “I watched this movie and then my cat and goldfish died? Was that supposed to happen?” – Anita B. Jainow, the Winnipeg Street Journal


The Bottom Line
Despite a compelling lead performance by Jioki Goneyet and better-than-average stage work by washed-up Naheed Nenshi and wannabee politician Jeff Davidson, Totally Recalled: Failure to Lead never really gets out of the shadow of its weak plot and questionable premise, no matter how true-to-life both were. But if you like to see Calgary’s Mayor on the hot seat and tap dance around her political shortcomings, then buckle your seatbelt, because this cinematic experience won’t disappoint (too much). 

E. Rex Sean

Gyoti Gondeck, Naheed Nenshi, Jeff Davidson, Sonya Dull, Sean Chew, and special guest appearance by Greta Thunborg.

By the year 2021, Calgary had transformed into a decaying rainbow metropolis lost in the landscape of diversity-fuelled subculture seemingly commonplace in Canadian society. Enter Jyoti Gondek, an ambitious politician, who ascended to the role of mayor with promises of inclusion, diversity, equity, innovation and progress. Little did the citizens know that on day one she would declare a localized climate emergency and her leadership would plunge the city into a political rollercoaster reminiscent of a sci-fi thriller that would see many calling for her to GTFO fewer than 3 years later.

E. Rex Sean, filmmaker

“I wanted to create a movie that was equal parts fiction and equal parts a living reality for calgarians who are experiencing mayoral leadership so terrible that it makes what Premier Notley did look like textbook politics. I think I hit the nail right on the head with this film.” – E. Rex Sean

As Mayor Gondek unveiled her vision for Calgary, she announced plans to construct a state-of-the-art dome over the entire city to protect her and fellow Calgarians from the climate destruction localized over beloved city, that compelled her to declare a climate emergency on day one in office. Inspired by the Hollywood hit Bio-Dome, she believed it would protect Calgarians from the anthropogenic extreme weather and create an indoor paradise. The citizens, however, saw it as a colossal waste of resources, and a petition to remove her from office quickly gained traction.

At the forefront of the movement was Frank, a passionate Calgarian, and unemployed production engineer, who had had enough of Mayor Gondek’s eccentricities. He rallied his fellow citizens, collecting signatures and organizing protests outside City Hall. The hashtag #RecallGondek trended on social media, and the pressure mounted on the mayor.

Unbeknownst to Mayor Gondek, Naheed “Barney” Nenshi, her former political ally, had grown disillusioned with her leadership style. Naheed, now a rogue technocrat with a knack for hacking, joined forces with Frank and the petitioners. Together, they aimed to expose Mayor Gondek’s questionable decisions and bring an end to her dome obsession and leadership that has failed on so many fronts it’s almost comical.

As the movement gained momentum, Mayor Gondek’s arch-nemesis, Jeff Davidson, a charismatic businessman with a secret agenda, seized the opportunity to challenge her in the upcoming recall election. His slick campaign promised a return to traditional, logical,  nonsense governance and put an end to the dome debacle.

The stage was set for a political showdown. In a high-tech debate moderated by an AI hologram, Mayor Gondek defended her vision, Naheed revealed hidden truths about her administration, and Jeff Davidson presented himself as the voice of reason.

On recall election day, Calgarians cast their votes, torn between loyalty to the quirky mayor and the promise of stability from Jeff Davidson. The results revealed a city divided, but ultimately, the majority chose change. Jyoti Gondek was ousted from office, and the dome project was shelved. But would this really be an end to her failed leadership?

As the dome cranes retreated, revealing the open sky once more, Calgary embarked on a new era under Jeff Davidson’s leadership. The city learned that, in the quest for progress, a balance of innovation and practicality was essential. And so, the citizens of Calgary looked toward the future with hope, leaving the saga of Mayor Gondek’s failed leadership behind, like a scene from a futuristic blockbuster.

Sooooooo… at first viewing, Totally Recalled: Failed Leadership is that rare movie that fails on almost every level, looking like it’ll be ready to be released on BetaMax within a week. But once you get past the one-third mark of this 3-hour experience, you’ll notice each character, scene, costume, and joke starting to fire on 6 out of 8 cylinders which makes the film worth repeated viewings.

2P News gives this movie 4.5 out of 5 pints.



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