In the end, here's the worst sin of this slick, high-octane memory play: It's forgettable.
Mr. Burr, I remember reading your pieces back when Yahoo.com linked/re-posted reviews from national and local critics and found yours to be the most intelligent among the group. I was hoping you'd have gone into more detail on what made the original Total Recall such a classic. I agree with you that the original 'COULD' have been better without Arnold, though the tone and focus would also need to change, for starters by removing the joviality from the malice and exploring the mind vs. reality theme in more detail. As it stands, the carefree, consequence-free, capricious violence of the original makes it lean towards the 'mind' verdict, but the writers/directors were smart enough to leave the question for the viewer. At the end of the day though, what makes the Arnold-version possibly the best action movie ever made is the unending twists and surprises and complete lack of any lulls whatsoever.
Aug 3 - 10:44 AM