Produced by Neal H. Moritz, Toby Jaffe
Screenplay by Kurt Wimmer, Mark Bomback
Story by Kurt Wimmer
Based on "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" by Philip K. Dick
Directed by Len Wiseman
Starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel,
Bryan Cranston, John Cho, Bill Nighy, Bokeem Woodbine.
Based on Philip K. Dick's short story and director Paul Verhoven's original adaptation, Len Wiseman's reimagining of Total Recall is a joyless, overlong and completely unnecessary feature length chase scene that offers little in terms of characterization or story.
Fans of the original know the set-up, In the future a bored everyman Quaid, haunted by vivid dreams visits Rekall, and attempts to implant memories of a life he didn't have. He chooses "Secret Agent" and as soon as the procedure begins, the office is attacked, setting off a cat and mouse chase between Quaid (who is now spy Hauser...or is he) and the nefarious people who wiped his memory. His wife isn't his wife and his entire life has been implanted on his brain.
It's a fun concept, and as seen in the 1990 version starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, but this one, not so much. In an attempt to make the film "more realistic" the fantastic elements have been stripped, leaving a dry, familiar and somewhat boring husk in it's place.
Part of the problem is that it's three leads (Farrell, Beckinsale and Biel) are fairly dull and don't elevate the material beyond the page. And it's two charismatic supporting actors (Cranston and Nighy) are restrained in both material and performance. They have nothing to do and are given even less, and the film just wastes their time.
The film also feels like a mashup of a number of other films, capitalizing on such obvious influences including The Fifth Element, The Bourne series, I, Robot, Minority Report, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Blade Runner, Inception and dozens of others.
The movie's best moments (and there aren't many) are too reminiscent of the original, but lacking the fun and ridiculousness that made it so entertaining.
This Total Recall is completely forgettable.