Let me start off by saying that I won’t be comparing this movie to the original all that much. I haven’t seen the original in a few years, and my recollection is hazy enough that I’d come off sounding like an idiot if I don’t get exact references correct. So, I’ll compare the few things I know exactly and leave the rest to you have love the orginal (and I do) but know it frame-by-frame.
First off, let me say that the remake to Total Recall is a GOOD movie. It’s flashy, has cool set-pieces, and the action is spot on at times. But what I really didn’t feel was any SOUL in this movie compared to the 1990 Paul Verhoeven classic. I know this movie was orginally intended for a PG-13 release, and not that blood=soul, but I think it took away from it being a gritty sci-fi movie, to a glossy, good-for-anyone-who-doesnt-mind-three-boobed-hookers-and-a-few-cusses romp.
The 90’s version had insanity. From the sweet scene where you see him burst through the X-ray machine, to Kuato as that deformed mutant creepy thing, to MARS itself. This movie doesn’t have MARS in it at all. And, I get that Len Wiseman (Underworlds, Live Free or Die Hard) wanted to deviate from the original and make it his own, but not going to space helps keep this movie as simply an experience to forget once you leave the movie theater.
I like Colin Farrell a lot actually. I think he’s a fine actor, I loved his take on Jerry Dandritch in the FRIGHT NIGHT remake, and he does a decent job here. Jessica Biel, well, I could care less about her. Cosmetically I think he features are too sharp and it gives her a cat-like appearance, and though some guys may find this appealing, it leaves me with a gross taste in my mind. Her acting in this movie isn’t bad, but I can’t get past her cat face. On the other side of that is Kate Bekinsale, who is wildly attractive and as far as I’m concerned, did the best job in the movie. Taking over the Sharon Stone role as the deranged “wife” of Douglas Quaide, Bekinsale brings a veracity and spirit to the movie that everyone/thing in the rest of the movie really lacked. She’s relentless in her pursuit to bring down her husband, and she seemed to have a lot of fun with the role. Bill Nighy is in the film for like 2 seconds, so whatever. I like him, but his talents are wasted. And Bryan Cranston did a decent job acting like Cohagen in a hair piece.
Overall, the movie was entertaining enough to not make me doze off, but nothing really stood out as ground-breaking, or anything that hasn’t been done before. The fights between Bekinsale and Farrell/Biel are pretty cool and had more action in them than the entire fight scenes in TDKR, but that didn’t save it from being just a mediocre sci-fi actioner. I saw this movie at the matinee showing for $5 bucks, and if you’re going to see it, its my advice that you should too.