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Well, after a relentless marketing campaign that began way back in those salad days of last week, the first proper trailer for Total Recall has arrived. Just as was promised by the 30-second trailer for the trailer, Sunday gave us our first solid look at the anticipated remake. Was the reveal enough to get viewers pumped for this late-summer release?
Let’s venture a guess and say yes, for now, as the promo is light on Philip K. Dick’s sci-fi philosophizing but chalk full of pretty people jumping around in some really flashy setpieces. Most of the story setup revolves around factory worker Doug Quaid jumping around future slums that lean into the Eastern aesthetics of Blade Runner. Star Colin Farrell may not match original lead Arnold Schwarzenegger in muscle mass, but he sells his bewilderment at being a secret badass better than the former Mr. Universe ever could.
It’s kinda hard to talk about the snippet without mentioning the clear signs of stylistic influence. Minority Report comes to mind when looking at the virtual computer interfaces and slick hovercars, while the army of checkered robots hint at a future union between the LOKI-mechs of Mass Effect 2 and Honda’s ASIMO. Heck, even the way Quaid flips the tables on a room full of pristinely dressed soldiers is right out of Jason Bourne’s playbook, with an overlap in identity issues to boot. The mind-altering Recall at the center of the plot is mostly given lip service as an excuse for Farrell to flip into superspy/badass mode.
Of course, we’ll probably be seeing more of the story’s existential quandaries popping up once we get closer to release, and if nothing else, the characters seem to have survived the transition to the new millennium. Kate Beckinsale as Quaid’s wife-turned-executioner Lori looks to a bit more intimidating than Sharon Stone’s take, and we do get a brief glimpse of a haggard Bryan Cranston as the sinister Coohagen.
While die-hard fans of the original will no doubt have plenty to cry foul about, namely that the film doesn't take us to Mars, it looks like Len Wiseman has assembled a sci-fi actioner that couldn’t be more summer appropriate if it were sporting shades and boardshorts.
Total Recall will become part of our collective memory on Aug. 3.