The trailer for the new adaptation of Total Recall (I hesitate to use the term “remake” since this movie, much like Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 movie, is based on Philip K. Dick‘s 1966 short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”) was unveiled a week ago to little fanfare and the expected gnashing teeth of devoted fans of the Verhoeven movie and haters of remakes and reboots in general looking to justify the kind of boiled-over rage directed at this movie that you wouldn’t often find outside of Tea Party gatherings and Bill O’Reilly’s dressing room. To help alleviate rising concerns about the film’s fidelity – or lack thereof – to its source and the fact that it looks like just about every futuristic actioner out there (OOH! FLYING CARS!) the trailer for Total Recall is being presented complete with a few audio comments from the movie’s director Len Wiseman.
You can watch the trailer with Wiseman’s commentary here below.
The director doesn’t do much but share a few production tidbits and drool over having his wife Kate Beckinsale engage in a brutal catfight with Jessical Biel, something that would likely be way more awesome if this was an R-rated movie, rather than make a decent case for why audiences should see this movie or why he decided to remake (okay, I know, I said I wouldn’t use that word but in this case I must) a movie still held in the highest regard more than two decades after its release. To me the trailer looked fine but nothing about it was particularly exciting or fresh. In my opinion, if you’re going to take a beloved genre property and give it a 21st spit shine without bringing anything new to it other than changing a few elements of the story (in this case, no Mars) then what’s the point of even doing it in the first place?
Well, to make money obviously.
And if you’re going to have an obedient mercenary in play to crank out the fly-by-night hits then you’d do worse than hire Wiseman, the director responsible for the Underworld movies and Live Free or Die Hard (none of which were bad movies per se, just very derivative – as most modern movies tend to be – and forgettable), for the task. Wiseman, who was attached to direct a remake of Escape from New York (another sci-fi action classic that holds up well to this day) several years ago, is proficient at making disposable entertainments that neither stand out from the majority of multiplex dreck or establish the director as anything but a competent shooter of oversized action sequences. Therefore, he is the perfect person to assume directorial duties on a remake designed to do little more than score a good opening weekend and then sell millions of copies of the inevitable unrated Blu-ray.
Time will tell if Wiseman’s Total Recall will be able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the 1990 movie. It certainly has a good cast: in addition to the aforementioned Biel and Beckinsale it stars Colin Farrell, Bill Nighy, Bryan Cranston, and John Cho. Of course the prospect of a healthy paycheck has made better actors sell out their principles before.
Total Recall opens on August 3, 2012.
[Source: MTV via Collider}