Total Recall is forced to answer the same question posed by another remake from this summer, The Amazing Spiderman. That question is, we’ve seen this done well already, what more can this film offer? Spiderman surprised us, but Total Recall does not. I must admit, I have not seen the original Total Recall since 1993, and all I remember is that it was clever, it was on Mars, and there was a girl with three breasts. In this 2012 remake, I’m afraid only the latter is true.
Total Recall is visually incredible. Great precision was clearly taken to create this degraded and oppressive future society. Blade Runner appears to be an inspiration, and that’s a good thing. Kate Beckinsale succeeds most above the other actors at compelling the audience when she’s on the screen; she can really kick some ass. Acting isn’t what Total Recall strives for anyway, I mean Arnold Schwartzenegger was the lead in the 1990 version. The major problem with Total Recall is that it isn’t thoughtful enough. The original spent more time and energy developing the idea of what would happen if you could be supplied with memories. This premise is hardly dealt with and that’s such a disappointment. Also, this film just wasn’t violent enough. Sure there are fight scenes and ridiculous amounts of gunfire, but it all felt artificial, which makes the movie feel tame. I did enjoy Total Recall as 2 hours of Summer Sci-Fi escapism, but nothing more. The film makers certainly should not be content with this. If you’re going to remake an already great film, take a risk, be creative, give it purpose, make it feel new. Don’t simplify it, water it down, and make us wish Rekall was real. C-