If you're unaware, the film is about Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), a blue-collar worker with a hot wife, Lori (Kate Beckinsale), who works for the government. Douglass has been having some bad dreams involving being attacked by the government and running away with Melina (Jessica Biel). So he goes to a place called Rekall in order to sort his mind out and get some good memories. But in the process of uploading a Secret Agent memory, government agents--led by Lori, who is commanded from afar by Cohaagen (Bryan Crantson)--attack him. Apparently he has connections to a rebellion leader named Matthias (Bill Nighy), and Douglas has some info in his head that they do not what Matthias to get a hold of.
I'm not sure if it was a good or bad idea to watch the film in such close proximity to this version, because all I could do was sit there making connections the whole time. This film actually used knowledge of the original in its function, making allusions to it or playing out scenes the same way but to a different outcome. The best use of this method came about in the "two weeks" scene that I don't want to spoil if you have no idea what I'm talking about, but fans of the original film certainly will. However, because these films are all about memory--whether erasing or retrieving--everything gains this strange level of meta to it. And we all know I love meta... but at the same time, I'm not quite sure how well it worked. It might have been too reliant on the original film.
Still, there were plenty of things unique to this version that were great. One of the things I always love about PKD adaptations is where they take technology and the gadgets and whatnot they come up with. I love the whole magnetic system of the flying cars (something I always thought about when I was a little kid, so it was really fun to see it in effect). The guns, the elevators, the fridges, the phones, etc. It's just a lot of imaginative fun.
Likewise, the level of action in this flick is pretty awesome. All of the fight scenes and chase scenes were a lot of fun, and most of it looks fantastic. Though one of the writers was Kurt Wimmer, who has given us a lot of fantastic fight scenes in his own films, such as Equilibrium. This is being pegged as a dumb, summer action flick... and it is. But there's nothing wrong with that, is there? I'm not gonna bother with talking about the acting, honestly, because you wouldn't go see this for the acting anyway (hell, you wouldn't see the original for its fabulous acting, either, to be fair). You'll see it for the action.
This is a darker, more serious take on the story, whereas the original film was more cheesy... well... Arnold-ish. It doesn't have the awesome prosthetics or mutants or any of that (though you do still get the three-breasted woman, and yes... you do see them). Where it lacks in the whole "body horror" elements of the original, it makes up for with sweet technology and great action. Again, it's hard to erase the memory of the original film when watching this (ha), and whether or not it wants you to see this as a lone feature or in conjunction with the original to work to its fullest potential... this is still a fun, summer action flick, and I enjoyed it.
I Am McLovin!