Total Recall always seemed like one of those reboot proof movies. Because how exactly do you reboot something like that. The freaks, the bug inside Schwarzenegger’s head that he has to extract through his nose, the fake head, the talking robot cab? The answer is you hire Len Wiseman to direct, and the guy behind Law Abiding Citizen, Ultraviolet and Equilibrium to write the script. Now there’s no way that combination is going to produce anything watchable.
And why hire Len Wiseman, who isn’t on a roll, to remake the movie, when Paul Verhoeven is still around. Dan O’Bannon may be dead, but the other writers credited on it, with existing credits like Freejack and Big Trouble in Little China are still working. And even their mediocre movies like Next, are still better than Law Abiding Citizen, Ultraviolet and Equilibrium. But you’re missing the point. They’re too old now. Only Len Wiseman can make Total Recall contemporary enough by making it PG-13, filling it with special effects and casting somebody from Grey’s Anatomy in the lead.
So once again why? Is Total Recall such a brilliant concept that the remake will even work? No it’s not. Most of what’s fun about Total Recall is what will be taken out. Arnold’s deadpan performance. The over the top violence. The ridiculous toys. All of them part of the flavor of the 80’s. Take those away and you have nothing much left.
I can see the point of a 3D Yogi Bear, as hopelessly lame as it is,
because if you’re not Pixar, instead of trying to come up with a new idea, you just remake the old and sell it to kids. Who don’t know and don’t care anyway. Bear hits head. Kids laugh. Adults aren’t that much smarter, but Total Recall is not a franchise, it’s not a property, it’s a PK Dick story with an ironic twist ending that never made it to the movie.
If you wanted to remake it so badly, bring in the people behind Crank, cast Jason Statham in the lead, and it’ll be the same movie except with a trip to Mars.