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Total Recall

By MATTHEW SINGER
Give Len Wiseman credit: At least he recognized that remaking Total Recall with the same hammy humor and satirical underpinnings of the 1990 original would’ve been the wrong move. No director can balance ridiculous action, over-the-top gore and sledgehammer political commentary like Paul Verhoeven, who blew up Philip K. Dick’s short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale into the most awesomely crazed sci-fi flick of the ’90s, so Wiseman—the auteur behind the Underworld series, as well as the Die Hard sequel in which Bruce Willis fist-fights a jet—didn’t even try. Instead, he went in the opposite direction, extracting everything that made Verhoeven’s film distinctive and fun and turning it drab, self-serious and painfully generic. Is it unfair to compare the two? Well, OK then: Take away the title, and the movie is still just a dull, feature-length chase scene through a dystopian cityscape, with Colin Farrell muttering faux-profound bullshit about the nature of memory in the small breaks between his endless triathlon of running, leaping and falling in slow motion. At least we still get the three-breasted mutant prostitute. Wait. There aren’t any mutants in this version. So that third breast is actually just a grotesque deformity? Thanks for ruining my childhood, Wiseman.
 
  • Genres: Action, Science fiction
  • Running Time: 109 minutes
  • Release Date: Friday, June 1, 1990
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Critic's Score: C-
  • Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger [Douglas Quaid], Rachel Ticotin [Melina], Sharon Stone [Lori], Ronny Cox [Vilos Cohaagen], Michael Ironside [Richter], Marshall Bell [George/Kuato], Mel Johnson Jr. [Benny], Michael Champion [Helm], Roy Brocksmith [Dr. Edgemar], Ray Baker [Bob McClane], Rosemary Dunsmore [Dr. Lull], Priscilla Allen [Fat lady]
  • Directed by: Paul Verhoeven [Director], Philip Dick [Writer (Short Story)], Andrew Vajna [Executive Producer], Mario Kassar [Executive Producer], Jon Povill [Writer (Screen Story)], Gary Goldman [Writer (Screenplay)], Buzz Feitshans [Producer], Robert Fentress [Associate Producer], Elliot Schick [Associate Producer], Ronald Shusett [Producer], Jerry Goldsmith [Original Music], Bruno Louchouarn [Original Songs]
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