Remakes of classic movies are here to stay. Sometimes, they are better than the original. Not this time.
The original Total Recall (adapted from the Philip K. Dick short story “We can remember it for you wholesale”), although made in 1990, had the balls to give us Mars. The 2012 remake instead gives us post apocalyptic Britain vs The Colony (Australia).
The overall plot is very similar. Douglas Quaid, an ordinary worker on Earth/Colony, has recurring dreams of an exciting life and a mysterious woman. Discontented (even with a wife like Sharon Stone / Kate Beckinsale. Seriously Quaid??) with life, he decides to go to Rekall for implanted memories of being a superspy.
However, just before the procedure begins, the rekall personnel realises that his memory had already previously been tainted with, and he really was a super secret agent with extraordinary kungfu that until then hadn’t been discovered.
Off he goes on the run and on the road to discovering who he really is.
The 1990 version was really fun. And they really ran with it. Mars, mutants, prostitute with 3 boobs, Sharon Stone.
The 2012 version, sadly, other than Kate Beckinsale, had little to go for it. Even the highly anticipated scene with the prostitute with 3 boobs was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment. It was essentially chase scene after chase scene in a heavily CGI-ed future that didn’t really impress.
It all felt very Minority Report-ish, which in 2002, was pretty awesome. But this is 2012.
Fun Fact: Minority Report, incidentally, was also based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, and was in fact, initally meant to be adapted as the sequel to the 1990 Totall Recall.
The only part of the film I felt surprised by, was the scene in which Quaid smuggled himself into the United Federation of Britain’s immigration department, in one of the original’s most iconic moments. So I shall not spoil it here.
The endless chase scenes and overall less ambitious film-making makes this an inferior remake. And it certainly doesn’t help build confidence for the other remakes to come, and yes, there are many.