Total Recall (1990/2012)

They stole his mind, now he wants it back
They stole his mind, now he wants it back
D: Paul Verhoeven
Guild/Carolco (Buzz Feitshans & Ronald Shusett)
US 1990
109 mins

Science Fiction/Action/Thriller

W: Ronald Shusett, Dan O'Bannon & Gary Goldman [based on the story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" by Philip K. Dick]
DP: Jost Vacano
Ed: Frank J. Urioste
Mus: Basil Poledouris
PD: William Sandell

Arnold Schwarzenegger (Douglas Quaid), Rachel Ticotin (Melina), Sharon Stone (Lori), Ronny Cox (Cohaagen), Michael Ironside (Richter), Mel Johnson, Jr. (Benny), Marshall Bell (George)

As a concept, Total Recall is one of the most imaginative ever conceived, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, whose works also inspired Blade Runner and many other science fiction films.
The story is a head fuck, which is rather apt considering the plot, but if you're not in the mood for something heavy, just sit back and enjoy the all-out action extravaganza which unfolds.
In a future of interplanetary travel and memory implants, a working class man named Douglas Quaid visits a mind doctor, who convinces him to purchase their five-star package, where he'll receive the memory of travelling to Mars as a spy. What follows is an ambiguous mix of dream and reality, as a group of mobsters give chase and even Quaid's own wife wants to kill him. Once on Mars, Quaid reconnects with a former lover and the two of them uncover a conspiracy involving a corrupt politician and the cost of air.
At a substantial cost (the most expensive ever at the time of production), the visual effects and production design used to bring Mars to the screen are very well presented, though some of the flashier visual effects haven't dated well at all, but with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the driving seat, you know you're in for some thrilling action, even if you don't know what the hell is going on for half of the running time.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall

Is it real? Is it recall?
Is it real? Is it recall?
D: Len Wiseman
Columbia/Original Film (Neal H. Moritz & Toby Jaffe)
US 2012
118 mins

Science Fiction/Action

W: Ronald Shusett, Dan O'Bannon, Jon Povill & Kurt Wimmer [based on the story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" by Philip K. Dick]
DP: Paul Cameron
Ed: Christian Wagner
Mus: Harry Gregson-Williams

Colin Farrell (Douglas Quaid), Kate Beckinsale (Lori), Jessica Biel (Melina), Bryan Cranston (Cohaagen), Bokeem Woodbine (Harry), Bill Nighy (Matthias)

No Mars, no mutants, no Arnie, what exactly was the point of this remake???
This movie does take the general idea from the original, but so did Liam Neeson vehicle Unknown (qv), released the year prior and that did a better job than this cinematic turd.
The production design is lifted straight from Blade Runner & Minority Report and they completely do away with Richter's character (unforgivable) so Kate Fuckingthedirectorsale can get more screen time.
In all honesty, Arnold Schwarzenegger was never going to win acting awards for the original, but the fact he's replaced in the remake with a wooden Colin Farrell is simply laughable.
The most unforgiving thing is that this movie doesn't even stick to the source material, Philip K. Dick's 'We Can Remember It For You Wholesale'.
A complete waste of money, effort and celluloid and most certainly one of the most blasphemous remakes in cinema history.

Colin Farrell in Total Recall
Colin Farrell in Total Recall