Total Recall vs. Total Recall

I wanted a second opinion about this movie, so when my husband saw it I asked him what he thought. He said, “My life wouldn’t have been diminished if I hadn’t seen it.”

That’s pretty much it. The new Total Recall movie — a remake of the 1990 movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone — isn’t bad. It’s not good, either. It has a lot of action, pretty people and some very cool sets. The chase scenes are well done, but there are too many of them and they come at the expense of plot. In fact, the movie seemed to be nothing but a series of chase scenes in various settings.

Kate Beckinsale did a great job playing the lead character’s wife, who relentlessly hunts him down and tries to kill him. She was the real villain here. She got more and more vengeful as the movie went on, and was a lot of fun to watch.

Everyone kept telling me this remake was not nearly as good as the original Total Recall. Even the guy in the video game store next to the theater said, “I really miss Arnold, ya know?” So I thought I’d do “research” and watch the older film. Bearing in mind that I have never really been a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Everyone was right about the plot. The original 1990 movie had one. It was more complex —  and had a dose of humor in addition to the violence (which I didn’t miss at all in the remake, because I’m a wimp when it comes to watching people get killed or maimed on screen).

The original film was also over the top, with a very different mood from the 2012 version.  I see why people who saw it first, back in the 1990s, would prefer it. It feels like a movie that would develop a cult following. But to me, it seemed very dated.

Here’s more info about the 2012 Total Recall on Rotten Tomatoes. The older film is available on Netflix.