Plenty of remakes struggle to justify their own existence other than being a blatant attempt to cash in on a recognizable and popular property, and Len Wiseman’s 2012 spin on Total Recall was a near-perfect example.
The original is regarded as one of the best sci-fi actioners ever made, with director Paul Verhoeven and star Arnold Schwarzenegger both operating at the top of their respective games to deliver a loud, dumb, explosive and massively entertaining slice of big budget spectacle.
The remake took itself very seriously, and while Colin Farrell is a great actor, his best work almost always comes outside of effects-driven studio fare. The plot is largely the same bar a few updates, so you know what’s coming from almost the second the story kicks into gear. It’s never a good idea to be both predictable and dull at the same time, but Total Recall V2.0 manages it.
A 31% score on Rotten Tomatoes and a box office haul of less than $200 million on a $125 million budget tells you all that you need to know, but Total Recall is now streaming on Netflix for those interested to see how a high concept blockbuster can spectacularly waste the talents of a cast that includes Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, John Cho, Bill Nighy and Bryan Cranston.