The refreshing thing about summer blockbusters is that they rarely pretend to be something they’re not, and the same can be said for their trailers. They’re lavishly produced, with a heavy slant on teenboy fantasies: flying cars, metallic palate, girls in catsuits. There’s no trickery involved; it’s going to be loud, distracting, and altogether safe. The first trailer for this summer’s remake of Total Recall proves no different. What it does do, however, is transport us back to a time when we could get behind the idea of Colin Farrell as an action hero.
Directed by Len Wiseman—high priest of the Underworld franchise—this new take on Philip K. Dick’s classic tale of selective memory and conspiracy, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, is set not on Mars, but in EuroAmerica, a dystopian combo of global territories a la Hunger Games. The story doesn’t stray far from the 1990 original that cemented Arnold Schwarzenegger’s status as a camp icon. Colin Farrell is a factory worker who, through an experimental treatment, realizes he may be superspy. Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale make appearances as the required femme fatales, but where the hell is villain Bryan Cranston? The movie will obviously benefit from his sinister presence as much as the trailer suffers from the lack of it. In movies like Total Recall, it’s always the villan who somehow usurps our loyalty.