This remake of Paul Verhoeven's Total Recall by Len Wiseman (Underworld, Live Free or Die Hard) looks like it cost a lot of money to produce ($125 million exactly). That shows because the one word I walk away from this movie with would be "flashy." It looks "flashy" or even "big" because of how expansive the art direction is, how futuristic the visual effects can feel, and how fast the camera moves. But for all the Blade Runner-styled sets and the Bourne-styled escapades, this remake has nothing interesting happening at just about any moment in the story. The action feels like a video game as there is a certain level of an impersonal connection between the audience and the characters of Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) and Melina (Jessica Biel). Before they can even connect or have the audience connect with them, they are swept away by the action with one big-budget set-piece spectacle after another. I'm not the biggest fan of Verhoeven's film, but at least Verhoeven understands that there was something to say behind the fantasical sex, violence, and escapism that have made up his films (RoboCop behind perhaps the best example due to Peter Weller's performance as opposed to allowing Arnold Schwarzenegger to take on a character like Quaid). In short, very little energy was put into handling the complexities of Total Recall with most of it being wasted on visuals that had little life to them.
Back Catalog Review: Rebecca
4 weeks ago