10 Ridiculous Things About Colin Farrell’s Total Recall Remake

Today is the premiere of Len Wiseman‘s Total Recall. Considering that the whole world thinks of Arnold Schwarzenegger every time the words Total Recall are uttered, Colin Farrell has some big biceps to fill. And considering the original is not known for much scientific/plot consistency, some of the more outlandish leaps that this remake achieves are pretty impressive. Here are some of the more ridiculous things that happen in this version of Total Recall.

1. There is a subway that goes through the world.

The premise of this Total Recall is that the world has become 90% uninhabitable. Rather than reach out to other worlds to keep the population of Earth alive (the original created a colony on Mars), architects have simply built up. The two places left are modern adaptations of England and Australia, filled with vertical homes. It looks a little bit like Terry Gilliam‘s Brazil, though you never really get to see how tall these two cities would have to be to accommodate the population of Earth. However, the most implausible part of this futureland is the subway. Wiseman has created a massive shuttle that travels through the core of earth to transport workers between The Colony (Australia) and The United Federation of Britain (England). Considering it’s taken three decades to build one piece of the Second Avenue subway in NY, do you really think we can figure out how to dig through the core of the earth to send people to work on the other side of the world every morning?

2. England has survived the world apocalypse.
In the near distant future, the world has become mostly uninhabitable. OK. Fine. But it’s pretty hard to believe that the only places that would survive are England and Australia. Maybe Australia would make it, because it’s an entire continent and known for handling crazy animals and geography. Australia the colony is basically an overgrown Chinatown. Fine. Looks kind of cool actually. But England surviving any sort of tectonic shift in the  environment is a pretty far stretch. I know Wiseman is from England, but come on. English people on the whole are way too bookish, pasty and weak to make it through any sort of major reckoning.

3. Bill Nighy is the opposition leader.
Billy Nighy plays Matthias, the leader of the opposition party. He’s supposed to be a wise, imposing figure. But something went wrong, because he comes off sort of comically. This may be because most viewers will probably remember him as the old drunk pop star from Love Actually. And it’s hard to imagine everyone on Earth being scared of this guy:

4. Bryan Cranston’s terrible wig
Bryan Cranston plays the evil politician Cohaagen. Yes, the fact that he has his head shaved for Breaking Bad means that he has to wear a wig when he acts in other projects. But this wig? With the bangs that pop forward whenever he moves his head? It’s just silly.
5. Colin Farrell listening.
Definitely not his strong suit:

6. Kate Beckinsale kinda looks like a hot alien.
We’ve already talked about how weird Kate Beckinsale has been looking lately.  Clearly she’s had some work done to maximize her hotness. And it mostly worked. Except she starting to fall into the uncanny valley/blow up doll territory:
7. Jessica Biel looks like a similar alien. 
8. More confusingly, they kind of look like the same person. 
Obviously, these women are hot. And are both part of the reason that men are excited to see this remake. But in the original, Sharon Stone played Douglas Quaid’s wife, who turns out to be a spy. She’s super hot and sent to distract him from his old life. Kate Beckinsale gets that part done. But when Arnold goes to Rekall and creates the dream he’s going to live, he says he wants to be with a woman totally different than his wife.  
He gets Rachel Ticotin, a sexy rebel fighting brunette.
It’s interesting because Sharon Stone is supposed to be the platonic ideal of a woman and Arnold is tired of her. Is the distinction between these two women shallow? Yes. But in the new movie, it’s even worse. Colin Farrell replaces one hot, plastic brunette for another one.
But his real choice is between being a rich spy guy and a poor factory worker. The women are almost inconsequential. As Hauser, Colin Farrell gets a sweet apartment and lives in the fancy part of Earth. As Doug Quaid, he lives in an underground bunker.
At one point in the movie, Kate Beckinsale goes back to her English accent, so that helps distinguish between the women.
But they’re both basically fembots.

9. Kate Beckinsale is definitely sleeping with the director.
Unlike in the original, the role of Doug’s wife has been expanded beyond reason. Kate Beckinsale plays a woman who is Cohaagen’s lead henchwoman. She appears and reappears to pursue Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel to the death. Her chase wavers between Terminator and Fatal Attraction levels of persistence. It doesn’t make sense in the script for her to appear, and reappear and stick to her commands to kill Hauser when she disregards other orders. But clearly the director (her husband) liked seeing her on screen.

10. The woman with three boobs

This is one of the many nods to the original. Who doesn’t love seeing a lady with three boobs on screen? Except in this version it kind of makes no sense. In the original Total Recall, the world has run out of space and people need to live on Mars. But the air quality kills people and causes mutations. Hence, there’s a prostitute with three boobs.

In this version? The colony is basically in Australia. But it’s the future. So I guess it would be awesome for ladies to have three breasts? Ok. Fine, I’ll give that one a pass. Here’s more of Colin Farrell trying to listen for the road:


(Photos: Total Recall: Columbia Pictures. Boob lady, Comic Con)

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    • Steph

      Isnt Len Wiseman American?

    • Austin Knight

      To say that the British are too bookish and pasty to go through any major reckoning is pretty poor form. You seem to forget we have fought off numerous attempts at invasion except the Romans and Normans, the latest of which was over 1000 years ago, and got stuck in to two world wars at the very start, not turning up two years late and then just blowing the hell out of anything that moved, including allies. If the gung ho attitude of certain nations was tempered with a little British calm in a hot situation, you might find considerably less collateral damage and friendly fire situations etc. Perhaps the UK is simply less likely to be anihilated in future…

    • http://profiles.google.com/scott.mcmasters Scott McMasters

      I still don’t understand why they can’t fly between the UK and Australia. Why is The Fall even necessary? No fossil fuels or what?

    • Jagonaut

      “English people on the whole are way too bookish, pasty and weak to make it through any sort of major reckoning.” What the f**k kind of comment is that? Where the hell are you from?

      • clarknt67

        That conclusion was weird. I was more thinking as a relatively small island England is vulnerable to climate changes and never really had the natural resources to support itself (hence the need to build an Empire, to plunder what it needed from around the globe). So if it lost the ability to trade it could be screwed. One can only survive so long on a steady diet of root vegatebles.

    • shellnet

      Insightful review. Thank you!

    • Meghan Keane

      What a fail of an article. Wiseman isn’t British for a start (research your stuff) and the English are pasty and weak? You forget about the 1000 years of wars and the goddamn British empire. Have you ever been to Britain? It sucks balls and the weather is relentlessly depressing. I think an apocalypse would be nothing for us. We’d probably just moan about it and it would get us through.

    • Luke

      I don’t think you’ve been to England have you?

    • Jack

      Australia is only known for handling crazy animals and geography? Have you been to Australia? And this movie wasn’t that bad, you’re being way too critical.

    • knigth of ni

      the problem with the shuttle is not building it the problem is the energy used to make it go through the entire earth in 16 minutes, considering there is air friction and other kinds of fiction it would need an nuclear reactor just to make it dont stop in the middle of the earth and in the freefall in the vaccum would make the travel take 43 minutes not 16…….

    • Bob

      What language did you write this in? Oh that’s right you wrote it in English. Why? Because the British empire was that largest and most power empire the world has ever known, with England as its political and economic centre, and it’s language is very widespread as a result. To say the English are weak is just plain wrong. It’s not only insulting to the English, but anyone who was ruled by them, which is about 1 in 5 of everybody on the planet. To say they are too bookish is a poor reflection on yourself as a so called journalist. How can you criticise being bookish when you’re in the business of writing? Do you not read yourself? Do you do any kind of research, or do you just make stuff up and hope no one reads it, and attack anyone who does? They are pasty I’ll give you that. I can only assume you got that from a book with pictures in…. actually no too bookish more likely a TV. The film does kinda suck as well.

    • Joe Paolilli

      Fembots? Jealous much?

    • Jamie Matthias

      Stupid bitch I bet your American. First off we owned your pathetic joke of a country, the great British empire stretched across the globe and it still would but as we defended your shores from the French and the Spanish you traitorous scum (bunch of Irish potato farmers we brought to do our farming) turned on the very people who made you the country you are today.. P.s total recall is a lot better than the first one mainly because America has been wiped off the face of the earth…… You should quit your job cause your shit at it xxxxx