People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different. In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all. Read on!
Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall is a film that works as an artifact of a certain time and place. Arnold was huge, sweaty tough-guy action films were huger, and Carolco Pictures knew that regardless of Verhoeven’s stranger-than-normal touch, the film had potential. Total Recall today is just another smear in the long line of boring sci-fi action flicks that have been shat in to the theaters. Oh boy, another remake.
I’ll be perfectly honest: I fell asleep about twenty-five minutes in to Total Recall and woke up in the midst of Colin Farrell fighting robots in zero-gravity. Discount my opinion now if that bothers you, but I’m pretty sure the a third of the film I was privy to, spoke volumes about what I missed. Which, to continue my honesty streak, wasn’t much. There was a lot of Hollywood rigmarole when the remake was first announced that the original Philip K. Dick story the film was based on was going to be inspiration for the new film but as per usual with unwanted remakes, this idea was clearly a smoke screen so that the supremely blasé Len Wiseman could crank out another generic action film with some sort of high-concept hook. From what I understand from my brief experience with the film, Colin Farrell plays Douglas Quaid, a factory shmuck who literally dreams of a different life and when he approaches a controversial memory builder a lot more than he asked for comes bubbling to the surface. Kate Beckinsale plays a one-liner spitting assassin who chases Quaid and a cardboard cut-out “hot revolutionary” played by Jessica Biel for literally the entire film (or at least it seemed that way). Things explode and then more things explode and I think Bill Nighy might have popped up a few times, but the impression that I got was that this was just another remake pumped out for the sake of lining the pockets of all involved.
Sleep is a god-send sometimes.