I’m not going to talk about the 1990 film Total Recall. The remake should be allowed to stand on its own feet and justify its existence with its own virtues. And for about 40 minutes, it does just that.
On paper, the 2012 version of Recall should work. Talented actors, great cinematography and exciting action should combine to create a potent and enjoyable science fiction piece. Unfortunately, the film collapses under the weight of its own weightlessness—for all of the bombastic imagery and slick chase sequences, not much is actually revealed, and nothing quite feels at stake.
This isn’t to denigrate some of the film’s great ideas, however. It’s a stunningly designed world that director Len Wiseman (Underworld, Live Free or Die Hard) has rendered, but he hasn’t populated this grim-‘n-gritty landscape with anything more substantial or tangible than a passing dream.
Give it another 22 years, and maybe someone will remember to remake this one again.
Regal Santa Fe Stadium 14, PG-13, 118 min.