13. Total Recall (PG-13) - Runtime: 118 minutes
Starring: Colin Farrell, Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale
Director: Len Wiseman
If you're thinking about how much you loved the original Total Recall, you can just forget about that movie in this remake. This movie stays closer to the original story it's based on and does not take place on Mars at all. To be quite honest, I found this refreshing. Too many times a remake tries to play it safe by just recreating the movie. Unfortunately, the new Total Recall doesn't quite make the impression that the original did.
Colin Farrell plays Douglas Quaid, a simple man leading a simple life until he visits Rekall - a place that injects new memories into your brain. Of course, Quaid supposedly turns out to be a rogue government agent whose memory was wiped and this whole Rekall experience messes with his head. Is he really just living out a fake memory or is there something more sinister afoot? The movie actually does answer this question almost too straight forward. I was hoping for more ambiguity to the ending, but, alas, this is just your standard run-of-the-mill action flick.
So if you're just looking to pass some time with some cool action and CGI, then Total Recall fits the bill. Everything else in the movie is a bit of a mess. From the ho-hum plot and characters that you really could care less about to the bland sets and world - Total Recall doesn't exactly give you reason to notice it. Which is really too bad - this movie had a lot of potential, but it plays it safe and just delivers an action flick without any thought to it.
As for the cool parts? Kate Beckinsale is insane in this movie. She's just there to kick some ass, and she does it very well! I enjoyed her role very much, but there was way too many wife jokes in the movie. Because Kate plays Doug's fake wife, the movie goes out of its way to make sure you know this in every scene ("I give good wife" was one of the worst lines I've heard all year!). Jessica Biel is the woman helping Doug escape and take down the evil President (played by Bryan Cranston - who should have had more screen time!) and she's somebody I could have cared less about.
The movie does have some great action scenes - the car chase particularly comes to mind - and it's an action flick I would recommend if you're just looking to pass the time. However, there's been better action movies and better science fiction movies lately that this one just gets lost in the shuffle.
Rating: Not Worth Paying For!