Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
August 7, 2012
Jim Van Nest: I'm sure we all talked about this with friends/family before it opened and I know in my circle, the response to Total Recall was almost unanimously, "Why?" The original was awesome, and everyone loved it - so why remake it? I know I was going to wait to see what people thought of it before I went and saw it and when I checked in with RT on Friday...it was sitting at 19% Fresh (It's up to 31% now). So it was unnecessary and crappy. No thanks.
Reagen Sulewski: In researching some recent remakes, the ones that have actually done well have been the films that have actually given people some reason to think there's reason for the remake to exist. Just straight-up copies or updates are mostly dead in the water. This Total Recall isn't quite as pointless as the Conan the Barbarian or Footloose updates, but it's pretty close, and just putting modern style action sequences in a film that was mostly about satirical takes on action and gonzo set design isn't a recipe for success. Maybe in the hands of an accomplished director instead of Len Wiseman, but then we're talking about an entirely different film.
David Mumpower: Mr. Huntley has provided an excellent summary of the situation. Nobody here is crazy enough to argue that an opening weekend in the $25 million range is good enough for a movie that cost at least $150 million and possibly as much as $200 million as the negative cost. Where I disagree with him is whether Colin Farrell should be blamed. Perhaps blame is not the word I would choose in this instance. What I would point out is that Farrell, an actor I like a great deal, has been given several attempts in high budget, high profile potential tentpole films. Those titles include Alexander, Miami Vice and now Total Recall. Yes, he had achieved success as an antagonist in titles such as Daredevil, Minority Report and Horrible Bosses. When Farrell has been the primary lead of films, however, this has become the de facto performance with the only arguable exception being 2003's SWAT. If anything, the casting department for Total Recall doubled down on this when they added Jessica Biel, the breathing definition of box office poison. Her track record includes duds such as The A-Team, Next and Stealth (one of the worst bombs of all time). I thought Len Wiseman did everything he could and that the commercials looked great. There is no disputing the fact that people were unenthusiastic about a Total Recall reboot with these two leads, though.
Shalimar Sahota: I thought this would surely open to over $30 million. The trailer looked action packed to me, and despite the negative reviews, I thought it was strong enough to still get people to go see it. It seems to come off as an impressive looking dumb action flick wearing a cheap knock off of Philip K. Dick's clothes. However, even as a remake, I'm guessing there are just too many shades of other films in here as well - Blade Runner, The Fifth Element, Ghost in the Shell, Minority Report. Maybe people were put off because they felt they had seen it like five times before. I'm still quite curious myself, though.