TOTAL RECALL

Lemme see if I can recall something about this. It’s not just forgettable, its look is stale too: here’s the densely packed, Asian-populated, rain drenched cityscape from BLADE RUNNER; up there are the dizzying, multi-level, horizontal and vertical modes of urban transportation from MINORITY REPORT; not to mention the serried ranks of robocop “synthetics” guarding the forces of evil from STAR WARS. And it’s got a trio of deadweights for stars, although Kate Beckinsale tries to liven up the joint. She’s in perpetual seethe; you can almost hear the heavy breathing, and it’s kind of silly. For her part, Jessica Biel is just a blank. Is she on Colin Farrell’s side? Is she against him? Who cares! As for Farrell, well, he looks great in pajama bottoms at the beginning, then spends the next hour and a half being chased, jumping off buildings, crashing through awnings, getting the crap beaten out of him and beating the crap out of everybody else. All that activity, yet he still seems asleep. There’s a hilariously bad, finger-to-the audience cheat when a man speaking on a futuristic picture-phone is about to reveal the key to the entire movie and is told to go audio only, at which point Beckinsale (now just listening on the phone) shouts, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!” That may just have been the most enjoyable moment. — Jeff Schultz

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