Posted on 8/11/12 09:45 AM
Ah, Total Recall. The not-a-remake, but "re-telling" of Philip K. Dick's original short story, We Can Remember it For You Wholesale. If they really wanted to put some distance between this film and the original Verhoeven/Schwarzenegger version, they should have called it "Rekall", or something new. As for my feelings towards it, I didn't think it was terrible, but it certainly was not a good movie. Very forgettable is what I'd call it. I left the theater unimpressed, and by the next day I had forgotten I saw the damn movie. I ran across an ad online, and said, "Oh yeah, I saw that the other day." That's a feeling no director of a big budget action blockbuster wants to elicit from his, or here, audience. Sadly, once the "Oooh Pretty Special Effects " phase passed, I found it generic and worst of all, BORING. A movie with so much action and activity should never make one feel bored.
As dated as the original is, it still entertains me many fold compared to this one, because it has charm. Schwarzenegger's charisma and tremendous screen presence. Verhoeven's cartoony, exaggerated violence. And best of all, humor galore ("I got five kids to feed, man!"). This film has none of the above. It's played completely straight, which I would have loved (considering it helped to differ this one than the original), except for the fact that you then feel no connection to the characters, or what they're going through. They lacked the humanity of the original. I have to say though, whenever I fantasize about futuristic movies I'd love to see, or make, this is what they look like. Gorgeous cityscapes! The mix of I, Robot, Minority Report (Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. ) and other Sci Fi films of the like was pretty nice.
All of the winks and nods to Verhoeven and Schwarzenegger's version were well appreciated as well. The three-breasted prostitute was out of place with no mutants to be found, like I've heard and read, but in the context of the future tech and weird tattoos, it was acceptable. If the well-discussed Director's Cut adds something of value to the film, or maybe 20+ minutes of footage, I'll probably pick it up after while. Otherwise, it's either for dirt cheap, or not at all. Because I would like to revisit the settings of the film. I'd like to see this beautiful city again, but I can pass on the characters and story, for the most part. Colin Farrell was the best of the bunch, and Jessica Biel was good, but her character was forgettable. Bryan Cranston and Kate Beckinsale, I always enjoy. I won't even rate it on the poll, because 3 is too high, and 2 is maybe a smidgen too low.
It's a 2.5/5 for me.