How did this movie obtain a PG-13 rating when it actually shows a three-breasted woman? Did the MPAA approve this since there is no actual three breasted woman in existence? I think this is the most compelling mystery, not the one in which Colin Farrell finds himself.
The Total Recall remake is a competent action movie, nothing more. But for the original movie, this movie may have rated higher. However, since it draws so heavily from the original movie, there is little excitement despite the updated visuals.
Colin Farrell is Douglas Quaid, a factory worker who is frustrated with his mundane life. Despite being married to the lovely Kate Beckinsdale, he chooses to escape into his subconscious through a procedure offered by the company Rekall. Surprisingly, this unveils Quaid to be a sleeper double agent with the resistance in a dystopian world.
Farrell is serviceable as the protagonist while we are given little reason to care about Jessica Biel’s character/love interest Melina. Kate Beckinsdale is enjoyable as the Quaid’s villainous wife Lori. Bryan Cranston does as much as he can with what little he has. Unfortunately, his character Chancellor Cohaagen is written very poorly. His motivations are thin and decision-making is senseless. It’s hard to believe a politician like him would be on the front lines in some of the action scenes.
Speaking of which, the action scenes are decent. The film would have been better served had it slowed down a bit in between the explosions and gunfire. It’s hard to believe the original Schwarzenegger movie knew how to breathe better.
Plot-wise, this movie also is less ambitious than the first movie. The story does not venture to Mars, there are no aliens, and weird mutants do not exist (other than the aforementioned three-breasted woman). Even the ambiguity on whether or not the story is a dream is stronger in the original than this one.
The 2012 Total Recall is just okay. When you follow in the shoes of a cinematic legend though, you cannot just be okay.