2012 / Director. Len Wiseman.
TOTAL RECALL is a peice of shit. I hesitate to call it a remake because it really isn't... and so lets consider it an adaptation of Philip K Dick's original story... a bad adaptation at that! There's little resemblance to the wonderful 1990 movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger but there are a few less than subtle references to it. I guess they're winking at the audience but if other viewers are anything like me they'll be too confused and irritated to respond favourably. The movie hits the ground dragging with the most ludicrous backstory and set-up imaginable. Where the original book and earlier film took place between Earth and Mars this new movie takes an illogical and absurd concept of feuding territories on Earth. At opposite ends of the planet are the two remaining territories (The UK and Australia). The UK is now United Federation of Britain, a wealthy society and Australia is now The Colony, an impoverished territory. Workers commute from each side of the planet via a giant tunnel (gravity elevator) running directly through the Earth's core (yes, that's right) and the whole trip takes less than 30 minutes. Right from the get-go this new TOTAL RECALL insults the audience with it's preposterous set-up. The plot kind of unravels like the original story but so much has been altered and added that it becomes a massive phlegm-wad of convolution, complexity and confusion. It's a HUGE disappointment because the film looks so good. In fact this is aesthetically as close as a movie has come to Ridley Scott's Blade Runner... it could easily be the same universe. The action sequences are well staged but true to form, director Len Wiseman overdoes it. He raises the stakes from a comfortable level of suspension of disbelief into quagmire of improbability. Doing away with the original Mars locations was hugely to the movie's detriment but adding a gravity elevator which travels through the Earth's molten core was to it's complete and utter undoing. TOTAL RECALL 2012: Proof that you can polish a turd!