A remake of a movie titled Total Recall practically begs for puns. And the critics have obliged with an outpouring of groaners. Ty Burr in the Boston Globe quips "In the end, here's the worst sin of this slick, high-octane memory play It's forgettable." The headline of Joe Morgenstern's review in the Wall Street Journal reads, "Send this 'Recall' Back to the Factory," while the headline of Amy Biancolli's in the San Francisco Chronicle reads, "Memory Lapse." Claudia Puig in USA Today remarks that the movie "is easy to forget within a few hours of watching." Most of the reviews are as rank as those puns. But a few critics clearly believe that it should be judged on its own terms and certainly not compared with the Arnold Schwarzenegger original. The movie is an "efficient, action-packed retake," writes Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times comments that the film "adds elements from Blade Runner and Inception (as well as a dash of The Bourne Identity ) to the Recall cosmos and takes off like a shot. The fun is fun while it lasts, it just doesn't last long enough." But A.O. Scott of The New York Times may be may be posing the question that underlies all the other comments when, in the last paragraph of his review, he asks, "Why bother with an update?" It's a question that Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times seems to answer in the last paragraph of his. " Total Recall, " he writes, "is well-crafted, high energy sci-fi. Like all stories inspired by Philip K. Dick, it deals with intriguing ideas. It never touched me emotionally, though, the way the 1990 film did, and strictly speaking, isn't necessary."

03/08/2012