Directed by Len Wiseman
Screenplay by Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback
Story by Ronald Shusett & Dan O'Bannon and Jon Povill and Kurt Wimmer
Inspired by the short story, "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" by Philip K. Dick
Stars: Colin Farrell, Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston, Bokeem Woodbine, John Cho and Bill Nighy
As you know like everyone on the planet, remakes are usually a cash grab for studios to cater to a younger audience. Seeing that Total Recall was being remade was not a shock. It is Hollywood. They would remake anything to get butts in seats. I have seen the original Total Recall and I enjoyed it way better. It was a bit dated like the "futuristic" cars that looked like DeLoreans. The ambiguity of the first film was completely lost in the remake.
The film takes place at the end of the 21st century where a chemical world war has decimated the planet into to inhabitable places, the United Federation of Britain and the Colony. Douglas Quaid (Farrell) is waking up to a similar dream about him rescuing a young woman and being captured. His wife, Lori (Beckinsale) is trying to get Douglas to tell her about the dream.
Douglas travels to his job at a factory through a big elevator ship called The Fall that goes through the center of the Earth. (Don't bring logic into it.) He puts together robots to be cops for the UFB and the Colony. A co-worker tells him about Rekall, which is a company that implants memories. Douglas goes to the company where McClane (John Cho) straps him into the machine, but McClane wants to abort the transplantation. A SWAT teams tries to apprehended Douglas but kills them. At home, he tries to tell his wife what happened, but she tries to kill him.
As I stated before, I thought the ambiguity of the original was completely lost here. It was blown in the first minutes of the film. It makes your wonder why did the events happen in the first place. I'm not saying that I hated the film. I thought that the film treated the material poorly. The movie tried so hard to deliver fan service for the original movie that doesn't make sense in the context of this version.
The actors were fine in their roles, but I did not feel anything sense of danger with them. Douglas Quaid was made an everyman with Colin Farrell in the role as opposed to Arnold Schwarzenegger with his hulking presence. Jessica Biel as Douglas' companion, Melina faded into the background. She was very flat. Kate Beckinsale proved her badassery in Lori, the agent trying to kill Douglas. The supporting characters had nothing to do. Bill Nighy was wasted in this movie.
The action sequences were a bit of a mixed bag to me. I thought the hand to hand combat bits were quite good. I think some of the other set pieces were head scratching like the scene with the hovercars and the elevator chase scene. It was fine, but it didn't excite me.
I have to say one thing. Does every single movie have to have fucking lens flares? Well, this happen in the future, where lens flares are happening in darkened rooms or enclosed spaces where lights come into your eyes from nowhere. Enough already.