Total Recall is the 2012 remake of the Paul Verhoeven/Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, which in turn was based on the Philip K. Dick short story, We Can Remember It for You Wholesale. It starred Colin Farrell (who previously starred in another Philip K. Dick adaptation, Steven Spielberg‘s Minority Report), Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and Bryan Cranston, and is directed by Len Wiseman and written by Mark Bomback (who previously worked with Wiseman on Live Free or Die Hard) and Kurt Wimmer of Equilibrium and Salt fame.
The Earth has been devastated by chemical warfare, leaving only two continents standing: Western Europe, which is controlled by the United Federation of Britain, and Australia, which is now known as the New Asia Colony. The Colony‘s residents travel to work at the UFB using "The Fall", a gravity elevator that travels through the planet's core.
Doug Quaid (Farrell) is a Colony resident who visits a fake memory implant company, Rekall, after having dreams of being a secret agent, only to find out that he was a secret agent all along... or was he?
Why It Sucks
- Takes itself way too seriously. The first movie is much more comical and campy by comparison.
- Hit-and miss acting. The worst performance in this movie comes from Jessica Biel.
- Even though much of the movie takes place in Britain, and the villains are British, no one except for Lori (Beckinsale) speaks with a British accent.
- Unoriginal production designs, which is clearly (and rather poorly) inspired by other cyberpunk media (including other Philip K. Dick adpatations) such as Blade Runner, Minority Report, Deus Ex, and Ghost in the Shell.
- Bare-minimum ambiguity unlike the first movie.
- Uses way too much references to the original movie, which can leave viewers who haven‘t seen (or never heard of) that movie confused. On the other hand, it makes the people who watched the original wish they were watching that instead of this movie.
- Unintentionally hilarious and mind-numbingly dumb lines.
- Too much lens flares that can accidentally injure the audience.
- Blatant nepotism (Kate Beckinsale is Wiseman‘s wife) in the form of Lori having way too much screentime; in some scenes, her appearance downright make no sense.
- Feels more like a James Bond ripoff towards the end of the movie.
- The characters are bland and under developed.
The movie was met with negative reviews, receiving a 30% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and even earning a Razzie Award nomination for Biel as Worst Supporting Actress (which she lost to Rihanna in Battleship).
- Tom Hardy and Michael Fassbender were both considered for the role of Quaid.
- Kate Bosworth and Diane Kruger were both considered for the role of Lori.
- Eva Green, Rosario Dawson, and Paula Patton were all considered for the role of Melina.
- Eva Mendes was considered for the roles of both Lori and Melina.
- Scarlett Johansson was offered the role of Melina, but turned it down due to her commitment on The Avengers.