Watched Sep 14, 2012
Dan Cole’s review:
Len Wiseman delivers a rip roaring mid-level blockbuster remake that manages to give his wife a decent role for once. Beckinsale steals the show as a ridiculous femme fatale. She has so much fun with it, it is hard not to smile. Essentially the film is the Beckinsale and Farrell show as the rest of the cast barely register. Farrell isn't as fun as Beckinsale, but he works as our hero Quaid/Hauser. You can be forgiven for thinking you've seen this all before as the film doesn't really move to far away from the basic structure of the original films narrative. But that isn't a problem as Wiseman has made his version a more kinetic affair. It has a pace to the proceedings that makes most of the film fly by, but it does outstay its welcome by the end.
As for the visual world, Wiseman does pilfer motifs from a plethora of other sci-fi's. This is where a lot of the naysayers will be able to throw out cheap shots at the film, but this is missing the beauty of the production teams work. Instead of making the film seem like a cheap rip-off of something else Wiseman and his team deliver a surprisingly deep world. Visually striking with a great sense of being "lived in", Total Recall's twin settings (trio in fact) are the highlight of the film. It may not be as iconic as its predecessor or as interesting as the short story, but it is a surprisingly entertaining sci-fi romp