Saturday, August 4, 2012
No I'm not reviewing the new at-best mediocre movie! This is a time for Arnold, for classics, for awesome quotes and fantastic memories. Total Recall is one of the best action movies ever made, but alongside the action is an extraordinarily interesting premise: what if your whole life was a false memory? There's quite a few ways the remake could have gone with it, but trying to make a carbon copy of the original is kind of doomed. Douglas Quaid finds himself in this situation, he's an average man's average man; after all who couldn't relate to Arnold and Sharon Stone.
I wouldn't quite say Stone is the ultimate femme fatale but she certainly makes a huge impact in only a handful of scenes in the film. I think the combination of her and Michael Ironside is next to impossible to beat, so they decided to put it all on Kate Beckinsale's shoulders instead. She's an okay actress but I don't think she has much campy entertainment value nor is she just plain as attractive as Sharon Stone was in the early 90s. But its egregious not including Michael Ironside in some way, he's in essentially every Science Fiction movie ever made so why not put him in the remake? No Richter? No Benny? Outrageous.
I think Arnold and Ronny Cox are basically unbeatable in their roles, but you could potentially have just remade the character of Douglas Quaid differently so it fit a decent modern action star. Jeremy Renner or even Tom Cruise could carry a solid divergent design of this plot; but instead they try to copy it with a supporting actor at best in Colin Farrell. Ronny Cox is the ultimate corporate asshole and I think you do need that sort of character regardless, so why not bring him back as well? Throwbacks are fine, making a trailer that copies a whole bunch of scenes and fails is not.
All in all there was very little chance of a remake being better than the original but we could have had a decent enough addition to the Sci-fi action genre. Instead we got a bad imitation that cost an absurd amount and will probably break even due to the all powerful overseas market. (Remember, Pirates 4 grossed over a billion solely due to worldwide audiences, the new Ice Age is even worse). All things considered the original Total Recall isn't even that old and is still absolutely spectacular so I don't really see the need for a remake of any kind, though maybe a differently title film based on the same short story would work.