Now don't get me wrong, I am the worlds biggest 'Arnie' fan and the 1990 version of this movie has to go down as one of my all time favourites but I for one am quite honest to admit that I still, to this day, don't really understand it!
Sorry! I know for all critics reading this its a cardinal sin but I never really understood how he could flip from Quaid to Howser without the implant ever being induced?...........Well, I'm glad to say that finally, after 22 years (can you believe it, 22!) the 2012 remake has finally opened my eyes.
The new Farrell version is one of the best remakes I've ever seen. I know the perception is they will never beat the original but that's only if the new versions don't give a recommendational (new word?)nod to their counterparts - something this move has in droves with the infamous three breasted woman appearing early on as well as a number of other references that die hard Arnie fans will see without any prompting. That my friends is whats great about this re-make. It took the original and just made it better.
Firstly, Its not set in Mars. We are engaged in a post apocalyptic world with two remaining colonies - that of the empowered UFB (United Federation of Britain) Yay! and the lesser needed Colony (Australia) everything else is gone (chemically destroyed) and miraculously, the transportation between the two civilisations take place via 'The Fall', a super, multi gravitational elevator taking passengers through the earths core in about 17 minutes, allowing the Aussies to work the UK's industrial revolution while we get rich and they get tired!
The story is (almost) identical - after visiting 'Recall' our new hero Quaid, tries to induce the chemical memory of a 'Spy Story' but it reacts badly due to an already underlying lie (that he is unaware of) that Quaid is actually Howser, (something the original never really explained) a supporter of the new government (Cohaagen) and a potential defect to the revolution. Quaid has beenhidden in a fake marriage and job. The fake wife, Lori (Beckinsale) as per the Sharon Stone counterpart tries to kill him (badly) and he ends up in the arms of regular love interest Melina (Jessic Biel) who knew the original Howser before Howser has to take down the evil empire and save humanity but instead of the challenge being to starve Mars of Oxygen, this time its the robotic army of Cohaagen who are set to use 'The Fall' to wipe out the Colony and take full control of the remaining inhabitable earth!
Galctic or what!
Well, if you've managed to keep up with that then I've done my job correctly as this movie by far surpasses the original. The classic scenes including the security check with the disguise of the red headed woman and the famous "Two Weeks" quote is also identified but in retrospect to the action portrayed behind it and all I needed was the introduction of a Johnny Cab and Id have been in wonderland.
Farrell is awesome as Quaid / Howser. The girls involved (Biel and Beckinsale) are two of the finest females on screen today and the elevator fight scene just makes you smile! Great cameos from Bill Nighy set the piece right off and I for one thoroughly enjoyed this remake.
You don't need to see the original to fully appreciate this remake but it helps - only if its to identify with the new directors nods of appreciation to the original.
Congratulations Hollywood - a job well done.