The original 1990 version of "Total Recall" was released at the height of Arnold Schwartzeneggerâ??s career and popularity. Despite its many flaws, the movie, loosely based on Philip K. Dickâ??s "We Can Remember it for You Wholesale", was a smash hit and is still a respected action science fiction movie. For the most part, it was because of its storyline, but I would say that it is also because of the charisma of its star and the loosey-goosey have some fun direction of Paul Verhoeven.
Verhoeven brought that same fun to other action science fiction movies like "Robo Cop", "Starship Troopers" and (not action sci-fi, but) "Basic Instinct". Bottom line, Verhoeven was a master at what audiences wanted to see. He wasnâ??t particularly critically heralded, but audiences loved his violence, seediness and the personality he brought to the characters.
In a way, "Total Recall" maybe deserved a remake. In 1990, the technology available was nowhere near what we have today. Most of the effects were silly and cheap looking. The new version of "Total Recall" has effects and action in spades. If there is one thing that director Len Wiseman is really good at, itâ??s putting together amazing action sequences, and "Recall" 2012 maybe his best work to date, in that aspect. The synthetic humanoid army that marches through "Recall" 2012 put George Lucasâ?? clone army to shame.
Another thing to note is the outstanding performance by Wisemanâ??s wife, Kate Beckinsale, who plays Lori Quaid, a part played by Sharon Stone in the original. She sinks her teeth into the sweet loving wife and ruthless assassin character with charisma and athletics. She is one of the most believable parts of the movie.
Unfortunately though, that same charisma and fun that Schwartzenegger brought to the original are completely absent in the remake. Schwartzenegger has never been known as a great actor, but he never failed to bring personality to his characters. No matter what silly line he was uttering, you were with him in his ventures. Colin Farrell, who plays the part in the remake is completely void of anything other than, â??look how good-looking and cool I look.â??
It is a hard pill to swallow, getting past the lack of any sort of deepness from Farrell. He basically wears the same reaction and emotion throughout the entire movie, despite changing characters twice and going through numerous life realizations. That aside, "Total Recall" 2012 has been giving a technology overhaul and may be one of Wisemanâ??s best action movies yet. Unfortunately for him though, the movie will probably fall into ho-hum land due to lead actor who couldnâ??t bring the audience to think anything about him one way or the other.