Updated version of hit flick borrows from several sci-fi sources
Director Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 version of Total Recall was a hit for Arnold Schwarzenegger at the height of “Duh Arnold’s” popularity. And, as much as I enjoyed the original, I’m not going to call it a classic. It was fun, with excellent action, at least one classic line (“Consider that a divorce!”) and an impressive set design.
Director Len Wiseman, best known for the Underworld series, seems determined to make his version of Total Recall as different as possible from the original.
However, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t borrowed from other sci-fi films. The set design feels a lot like Blade Runner, the artificial life forms move like the robots in I, Robot and the hover cars move like the ones in The Fifth Element. Based once again on a short story by Philip K. Dick, I Can Remember It For You Wholesale, we are introduced to an earth in the late 21st century that has been ravaged by chemical warfare. The only inhabited areas left are the United Federation of Britain and the continent of Australia, now known as The Colony.
The Federation is home to the wealthy; The Colony is home to the poor working class who travel to the Federation each day on a gigantic commuter contraption known as the Fall that makes the Britain to Aussie trip in a brisk 17 minutes. There is an almighty chancellor, Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston), who controls the Federation and a rebel leader, Matthias (Bill Nighy), who is fighting for the working stiffs.
One of those working stiffs is Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell), a factory worker married to a policewoman Lori (Kate Beckinsale). He isn’t happy with his life and is haunted by nightmares of running away from robocops along with a companion (Jessica Biel).
This dream triggers a nagging feeling that his life should be different, which is why he decides to try out the most popular opium for the masses, a mind trip at Total Rekall. Total Rekall promises to give its clients memories worth remembering. As Doug is readied for his trip, a chance to be a super spy, his world spins out of control when the cops burst in and kill everyone.
Quaid springs into action, killing 10 cops with brutal efficiency. Is this Total Rekall at work or is Quaid really a secret agent? That is the question as he is reunited with his dream companion Biel. They are soon on the run from police forces led by his wife. In Quaid’s dream/reality, she has been playing his wife for seven years trying to learn where Matthias is hiding.
Wiseman, who is married to Beckinsale, made her an action star via the Underworld movies, and he continues that trend here. She is a total badass and Quaid will need a lot of help to keep his “wife” from completing her mission and destroying him.
Here are 10 non-festival flicks that look the most promising, in order of their scheduled release date.
With Matt Damon passing on the chance to continue as memory-challenged super spy Jason Bourne, the franchise went in a new direction with two-time Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Town, The Avengers).
Casino Club & Lounge Entertainment
A Review: Star Trek: Into Darkness
A Lavish ‘Gatsby’
Laughing with George Lopez