Total Recall is one of those movies that just scream out to you 80’s ACTION MOVIE. It smacks you in the face with equal parts absurdity and great science fiction themes. When it was announced that people would be remaking this Arnold classic it was met with dismay and anger. How could you remake that movie? Come on, it has the over weight woman mask, mars, air, weird baby man in dude’s stomach and of course the woman with the three breasts. How could anyone in the world hope to match that amount of awesomeness on celluloid? Then a nice trailer came out and folks had their interest piqued, could our doubts be wrong? Could this be…good? You mean they are stay truer to the actual story by Philip K. Dick?
Well what we get is Total Recall starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and Bryan Cranston, a movie that doesn’t know what it wants to be and is totally flash over substance. The film begins with our hero Doug Quaid having a pretty violent dream and is then consoled by his wife, Lori in the morning. They live in the Colony, what’s left of Australia and is ruled over Britain. These are the only two livable areas in the world after a chemical war has ruined the environment. Doug works a menial job building robots for the Government police force but he dreams of something more. After coming home to see his wife gone to bed decides to go out and try something called Rekall. Rekall can give you memories of things you’ve never done. Before even beginning the process a problem occurs that causes Doug to be hunted by the government for things he finds out he has no memory of ever doing or being.
This movie actually starts out interesting and different enough from the earlier movie that it draws you in. It sets up this whole rich people manipulating the working class issue and a hero that wants more from life but doesn’t know how to get it. Then it seems like they decided to stop trying to write a decent movie and just film what feels like watching a person play a Xbox 360 game on fast forward. There seemed to be so much time spent on the art direction and set design of the film that things like character and into trying to reinterpret scenes from the old movie in a half handed way.
In this movie you’re going to get a lot of confused Colin Farrell and him making a puppy dogface. Some Bryan Cranston hamming it up and taking a break so he can save his real talents for Breaking Bad, Jessica Biel as the love interest who fails at being self sufficient in action scenes. While the design of the film is fantastic and it’s fun to see Kate Beckinsale kick the crap out of people it ends up being a total waste of time. This is a movie that should never be recalled just forgotten as quickly as possible.