Well I think Scott may have a hard time trying to impress us with 'Blade Runner 2' if he goes ahead with it. Seeing as this film has pretty much made the perfect interpretation of what a bleak futuristic heavily Asian populated/influenced city will look like by today's standards.
That is probably the only plus point about this new remake that I can give, the visuals. The rain soaked, dark, grimy, oily mechanical looking distopian Earth cities of the future are rendered quite beautifully. Both the 'the United Federation of Britain' and 'the Colony' look fantastic as you sweep across them during the film, not that I was surprised by this of course, it was inevitable that this element would be the films biggest asset.
This old 1990 version of 'Recall' was a loose adaptation of the Dick story, this new version is an even looser version ejecting almost all of the original material. There's no problem using some artistic license sure but why completely change everything?. If you do that's fine but then at least call the film something else, make it an original film stating influences, don't call it a remake/adaptation when its vastly different.
So the plot has almost completely nothing to do with the original Dick story, problem one. Problem two is the fact there isn't really anything new in this film we haven't seen already. You could almost say this film is 'I, Robot 2' or a mix of that film and a lot of 'Minority Report'. Yes the film looks sumptuous but it is your average vision of the future really, hover cars, hover trains, lots of holograms and lots of robots. The only new futuristic element I liked was the 'hand phone' and 'the fall' despite that concept being really quite unworkable in reality (I think!).
Touches on the old Verhoeven classic here and there, some small some in your face (three tits much!). A short plump ugly woman with a bad looking red wig saying she's staying in the 'UFB' for two weeks. This time her head doesn't come off to reveal 'Quaid' which I'm sure your suppose to think hehe. The new version for this trick is neat but not nearly as fun, you could say the same for the whole film really.
Another issue I had was the inclusion of a big robot force. I didn't really like this direction as it touches way too much on previous films as I've mentioned already. I did also get the feeling robots were used so they could have lots of gun battle sequences but without having to show lots of blood and people getting shot. I'm not saying that kind of stuff equals a good film but the 1990 version is famed for its over the top bullet squibs and violence and in retrospect it makes this new film seem very childish (not to mention the old toy merchandise side of it these days).
As for cast its lackluster if you ask me. Farrell does a good job as 'Quaid' yes, you don't need huge muscles to make a film of course but the inclusion of Beckinsale was a mistake though. She does her whole 'Underworld' thing and not much else really plus you know she's in this simply because her husband is directing. The other bad choice was Cranston as 'Cohaagen' who just wasn't threatening enough in any way. He wasn't necessarily bad but he just didn't really give off much of an evil tyrant persona, in no way did he come across as a villain, just a regular futuristic suit.
This film isn't a bad effort I must admit, its not a frame by frame remake which is good but as with many films these days its too late to make an impact, been here and done it. The 1990 version was huge because it was original and boasted awesome violence and that classic Verhoeven black political satire. This looks crisp and impressive but simply can't muster the same punch with either action or cast.
On a final note the 1990 version never really did give away whether it was a dream or not. The fade to white at the end is the only clue to it possibly being a dream. This new film doesn't seem to try for that mystery a tall, its all for one direction.