Total Recall

While not everyone in attendance at San Diego Comic-Con is the biggest fan of Len Wiseman, tweeting out jokes spotlighting his missing film knowledge and pedigree, it could just be jealousy that he is married to star Kate Beckinsale. That’s enough to make any man, and most women, insane with jealousy.

Feelings for the director, and remakes, aside, I didn’t know what to expect from a Total Recall total remake. Would there be boobs? How many? Would there be tiny mutants? How many? Would there be bullets, explosions, and car chases? How many?

We have some answers for you now.

Firstly and most importantly there will indeed be a woman with three breasts that, according to her, will “make you wish you had three hands.” As for the bullets, explosions, and car chases, it was impossible to get an exact count because we were treated to nearly six minutes of pure mayhem, an intense action spectacle.

Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell) slaves away in a factory building those very badass robot cops we’ve seen so much of on the Con floor until one day he decides to visit the seedy world of Total Recall, looking for an escape from the monotony of his crappy life on the bottom rung of a world where the rich live high above and the poor get sat upon – pretty literally as the city has been built up on top of itself. As you know, this experience may or may not trigger his real personality, Hauser, to resurface and reveal that he is a rebellion fighter – or is that all part of the simulation? What’s real?

The action is, that’s for damn sure. We saw car chases, robot cops with light lassos, explosions, gun fights, Jessica Biel kicking ass, robots getting torn to bits, and Lori (Kate Beckinsale), Doug’s wife, go batshit crazy on the attack, chasing him down with malicious intent. We also got to see plenty of slow motion moments where it seemed like gravity had momentarily come undone and there was some nifty floating going on. All in all, a really impressive display of footage.

On the panel, all of the actors stressed how they weren’t trying to fit into the shoes of those who came before them and that they were attempting to make a decidedly different film. And again, while many other journalists were seemingly unimpressed with Wiseman, I thought the film looked like a pleasant mix of new and old. Most of the action and design is unlike anything we’ve seen before, but we were treated to some familiar stuff – my favorite reference being a stout, red-headed woman going through the security – similar to the one Arnold disguised himself as in the original.

All in all, this looks like one hell an action film and what more can you ask for? Which would be the simple question, if Total Recall wasn’t followed by Elysium, which looked like it had a somewhat similar set-up in terms of the world, but blew it away in design and emotional depth. But still, this Wiseman flick looks fun and that’s good enough for me.

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