In case you live in a wonderful, fictional world where your fond childhood memories are sacrosanct to the money-grubbing capitalist maniacs in charge of greenlighting Hollywood films, you may not have heard that Sony Pictures has crafted a remake of the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger classic Total Recall. Unfortunately, if you’re reading this, you actually live in our reality, and all that stuff we just wrote is totally a thing. Sorry you had to find out like this.
While most have already dismissed the film as a cynical attempt to cash in on our collective nostalgia, the movie does have a few things going for it. For one, it’s supposedly more similar to Philip K. Dick’s We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, the story upon which the Schwarzenegger film was based, than the first movie. Way back in 1990, the future Governator was at the height of his box office prowess, and if we’re being entirely honest here, the original film was really just an excuse to drop Arnold into a weird, sci-fi setting so he could kill a whole bunch of evil jerks while dropping witty one-liners. That’s absolutely a viable way to make a film, but it meant that the end result only shared a scant few similarities with its source material.
Though the new film does lack a certain Austrian one-man-army element, it does feature Colin Farrell who, in recent years, has gradually shifted away from his original pretty boy schtick to prove himself a rather competent actor. If you haven’t seen In Bruges, we highly recommend it, both to prove the point we just made, and because it’s simply a great movie. That said, it remains to be seen if Farrell can really pull off the “action hero” thing, and to be totally honest, this first footage from the upcoming Total Recall doesn’t do a whole lot to quell fears that this flick is going to be a waste of time.
On the other hand, Kate Beckinsale is a surprisingly competent on-screen fighter, especially when you remember that the role she’s playing in this clip was originally portrayed by Sharon Stone. While Stone is directly responsible for propelling an entire generation of young men instantly through puberty with her role in 1992’s Basic Instinct, she isn’t much of an imposing presence, especially given that the original Total Recall saw her engaging in marital fisticuffs with a man who once killed a Predator using only a log and strategically smeared mud.
In the end, this short snippet of footage is something of a wash. It has its positives and its negatives, and certainly paints the upcoming Total Recall remake as an entirely different beast than its predecessor. Whether said beast will be the kind movie-goers will enjoy watching is still a giant question mark, but it could certainly be worse. If nothing else, the flick features Bryan Cranston as its main antagonist, and that guy is great in everything.