Box office: Total Recall
To date, movie adaptations based on the literary works of Philip K. Dick have had mixed success. On one hand you have Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” and Steven Spielberg’s “Minority Report.” Two films that present a dystopian future and perfectly capture Dick’s central themes of paranoia and what it means to be human.
Then on the other hand you have “Paycheck” and “Next.” Not necessarily bad films, but the finished products differed greatly from the original stories and felt like lower budget, run-of-the-mill sci-fi flicks.
Then, sitting somewhere in the middle is Paul Verhoeven’s “Total Recall.” A classic film, but it contained a few too many explosions and Arnie one-liners, straying too far from the original story to be considered a Philip K. Dick classic. Considering it’s now been over 20 years since its release, the time has come for the unwanted modern-day remake.
Inspired by the Philip K. Dick short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale,” “Total Recall” is the story of ordinary factory worker Douglas Quaid, played by Colin Farrell.
Despite having a beautiful wife, Kate Beckinsale, he desires an exciting life that he can never have. That is until he makes a trip to Rekall, a company that can implant you with fake memories. After the procedure goes terribly wrong, WelcomeToRecall.com tells us “the line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his true identity, his true love, and his true fate.”
If you have seen the original, you will notice how similar they both sound. But the one major difference in this film will be that Quaid will not visit Mars. “Sacrilege!” many fans have cried, but it is worth pointing out that in the original Dick story, Quaid did not go to Mars either. This detail was added by Verhoeven.
That’s not to say Len Wiseman’s version is going to be any more faithful. As Colin Farrell told CinemaBlend.com, there’s “a kind of omnipresent sense of power and corruption, and that plays into ours as well, but it’s not nearly as dark as the original.”
While some fans may see it as an insult to remake a film that is already seen as a classic, after recently re-watching the original “Total Recall,” which seemed cheesy and dated, I think it’s not a bad idea. Technology can only help a new version – provided that the main focus of the film is the story, of course.
And with the great additions to the cast including Bill Nighy and in particular Bryan Cranston, I can’t wait to see this version, which is released in Korea on the 15th this month.