Contrast that with the new Total Recall, a typically bloodless PG-13 affair that makes no impression whatsoever—and seems designed that way, too. The violence is severely muted, reduced to a few extended chase sequences, some generic Hong Kong-style hand-to-hand, and machine-gun battles that have all the impact of a laser-tag session. The hearty proletariats of Verhoeven’s Mars, all mutants and outcasts who work the mines or turn tricks, have been replaced by good-looking Earthbound have-nots who live like the Jetsons, even in squalor. And the mind-bending question of whether the hero’s dreams are really memories, and which one of his identities is “true,” are mostly withdrawn in favor of thoughtless spectacle. Its only evident passion is for excessive lens flares.
Completely expected but, still, gross.