Half-Remembered, Wholly Imitated


There’s a Total Recall remake coming to theaters this summer. If you’re too young to remember the 1990 original, I feel kinda bad for you because it’s one glorious rush of violent, misogynist, poorly enunciated entertainment. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a futuristic double agent who loses his memory, regains it in a memory implant procedure, goes to Mars and (spoiler alert) kills a lot of people; the plot details are pretty much secondary to the action sequences and one-liners (“Get your ass to Mars,” “Consider that a divorce”). Total Recall 1990 is such a product of its time that remaking it for modern audiences seems impossible—unless you redo it virtually shot-for-shot as Len Wiseman, director of the 2012 version, has apparently done. This YouTube clip, from a parodist calling himself Mr. Cinestir, presents footage from the two films in the same window, with clips from the old film cut to the beats of the new—and wouldn’t you know it, the new stuff all seems so familiar somehow, like we’re rediscovering memories we didn’t know we had. From the look of things, the remake substitutes Colin Farrell for Schwarzenegger, and CGI for model-based effects. Hooray, progress. Warning: Parts of the video are NSFW.