Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Tribeca Film Festival Matches George Lucas with Stephen Colbert: “I’m gonna tear you a new one, George" Tribeca Film Festival Matches George Lucas with Stephen Colbert: “I’m gonna tear you a new one, George" 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work The Eerie Connection Between 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and 'Tomorrowland' The Eerie Connection Between 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and 'Tomorrowland' Digging Into the Cannes Lineup: More Vet Auteurs and Women, No Netflix Digging Into the Cannes Lineup: More Vet Auteurs and Women, No Netflix You Can Now Read Over 200,000 Leaked Sony Emails and Documents You Can Now Read Over 200,000 Leaked Sony Emails and Documents 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Weekend Preview: 'Total Recall' a Noisy, Shallow, Costly Misfire

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood August 2, 2012 at 1:58PM

For a reported budget of $200 million, you'd think that if nothing else "Total Recall" would be visually dazzling. Sadly, Len Wiseman's futuristic universe lacks believable depth and texture, and the actors are stuck with a truly uninspired script. A zero-gravity sequence is an exception to the otherwise incessant and forgettable action.
3
Total Recall, Beckinsale
Kate Beckinsale in 'Total Recall'

For a reported budget of $200 million, you'd think that if nothing else "Total Recall" would be visually dazzling. Sadly, Len Wiseman's futuristic universe lacks believable depth and texture, and the actors are stuck with a truly uninspired script. A zero-gravity sequence (borrowed from "Inception") is an exception to the otherwise incessant and forgettable action. The actors are not at fault for this noisy mess of a film. (Wiseman, Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel and Bryan Cranston shared footage at Comic-Con.)

Beckinsale's confidence and ability as an action star makes husband-director Wiseman's shortcomings as a director all the more apparent. Beckinsale is second to only Angelina Jolie in the sexily fierce action star category, and without her, Wiseman's "Underworld" series wouldn't be so successful. With "Total Recall," Wiseman leans on both his cast and the branding of Paul Verhoeven's original film to sustain our interest for 118 minutes. This is yet another example of pandering and forgettable summer action confection instead of a fresh take on a compelling concept (from Philip K. Dick).

The other films opening this weekend are listed below, along with a review roundup for "Total Recall," currently at 21% Rotten. "Celeste and Jesse Forever" highlights Rashida Jones' acting and writing talents, while Fernando Meirelles' "360" disappoints and "The Babymakers" exhibits a sad low for Paul Schneider, who was so promising in Jane Campion's "Bright Star."

"360" Magnolia, UK | DIR: Fernando Meirelles CAST: Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Foster | 33% Rotten | Matt Mueller: "Banal, blundering and at times downright ludicrous, 360 is a full-circle misfire that Meirelles' lively images can't salvage."

"Celeste and Jesse Forever" SPC, US | DIR: Lee Toland Krieger CAST: Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Ari Graynor, Chris Messina, Elijah Wood, Emma Roberts | 80% Fresh | Christy Lemire: "'Celeste and Jesse Forever' is by no means a parody of romantic comedy cliches, but rather an acknowledgement of them en route to an exploration of greater emotional truths."

"The Babymakers" Millenium, US | DIR: Jay Chandrasekhar CAST: Paul Schneider, Olivia Munn, Kevin Heffernan, Wood Harris, Nat Faxon | Emanuel Levy: "Poorly conceived and executed, the film wastes the talents of Paul Schneider in a series of silly and embarrassing situations."

"Total Recall" reviews and trailers below:

This article is related to: Weekend Preview, Box Office, Reviews, Critics, Trailers, Remake


E-Mail Updates