Colin Farrell Would Like To Forget Total Recall

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With its lifeless tone, the new Total Recall is the Hollywood prototype of how bad a remake can be. One month after the release of Len Wiseman’s Total Recall, actor Colin Farrell, who played the lead Douglas Quaid and his alter ego Carl Hauser, is coming to terms with the film’s critical and commercial disappointment.

In an interview with the Huffington Post to promote his new film, Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths, the Irish actor spoke candidly about the wasted potential of all the people who worked on Total Recall and his lack of connection with the movie itself. Farrell admitted:

“But it’s really disappointing when a bunch of people — 150 or 200 people — work on something for six months and it doesn’t find the audience that it’s designed to find. But I think, personally, I identify less with the results of films than I used to, which is a good thing.” Farrell continued, “So it’s just a case of dilution — because I still do, a little bit, as an actor. But not a lot. I didn’t read the reviews for “Total Recall” — and not reading them was a huge thing. And it didn’t take much effort. I just didn’t end up reading them, which means I didn’t need to, which means I don’t identify with it that much. But it was disappointing that it didn’t work out.”

When it comes down to it, it was probably smart for Farrell not to read the middling reviews of Total Recall. The film was lifeless with no pulse or personality. It didn’t want to do the “heavy lifting” of actually making a clever movie, but it pretended to be “smart” by merely pointing out what made the original 1990 film successful and referenced that. The movie made far too many shortcuts this way. It was too safe.

Many hope the fate of the new Total Recall wouldn’t fall on other popular rebooted or remade sci-fi franchises including Dredd, RoboCop, and (Teenage Mutant) Ninja Turtles but it’s really up to audiences to tell Hollywood that we’re not going to pay for mediocre movies. So far this year, the people have spoken by not seeing movies like Total Recall and the ho-hum Battleship and would rather pay to watch quality movies like The Avengers and Prometheus.


  1. Danny DeMent says:

    You had me RIGHT up until you called Prometheus a quality movie.

    • Slimp says:

      What’s wrong with Prometheus? :-O

      • Tim says:

        Prometheus had some amazing moments, it had great atmosphere and really had the Ridley touch but there were so many script issues
        Damon Lindelof deserves a slap. Lazy storytelling and so many plotholes it was ridiculous. I still love the film but it makes me angry because it should have been so much better. I feel the same way about TDKR…

        • JessSayin says:

          What Tim said,…..except the part about “loving the film”

        • I dont think they were plotholes. Ridley didnt want to so much answer questions but ask more. The audience has an obligation to do some lifting as well.

          • Dominic A says:

            Thank you Henry ! Most of the complainers about ” plotholes ” seem to want everything spelled out for them , and can’t like a movie otherwise . The ONLY problem I saw was the ” 60 second abortion and now we use our stomach muscles like nothing happened ” scripting . And we all know there’s another 2 movies coming , so just wait till then for answers .Like most movie series ( Star Trek Star Wars Terminator et al ), the 2nd one will probably be hailed as the best …

          • James Vetzal says:

            yes! thankyou Henry for saying that

          • Sully says:

            I agree. Take a look at Alien. It left the audience with tons of unanswered questions that didn’t get answered until Aliens came out, and even then, some weren’t answered until Prometheus came out 20 years later.

            “What laid the eggs?”

            “Who/What was the Space Jockey?”

            “How did the company know about the aliens?”

            and on and on.

    • lordchair says:


  2. outlaw kit says:

    I actually enjoyed the remake; I thought it was a good update. But it did feel like it ended a little flat, and it could have gained some more depth with some better touches.

  3. Rob says:

    thats because you cant improve on perfection and the original is always perfect in my book

  4. Chris Bech says:

    I just saw the movie and I found it pretty good.

  5. Just because it’s sci-fi, doesn’t mean we’ll all flock to see it. It felt crap, it looked lazy and it was a blatant money-making attempt using nostalgia.

    Plus, no three-titted hookers? Why bother?

  6. Aaron Smith says:

    I didn’t think it was that bad. It failed to live up to the original, but it was a decent popcorn muncher.

  7. i liked battleship……

  8. Tim says:

    I enjoyed it as much as I did the original, which was as pathetic in its own way. I’m a sucker for anything PKD inspired anyway. Arnie was horrendously miscast and the latter half was ridiculous to say the least. Makes me laugh just thinking about it. The remake was equal to the original film. Just because it didn’t have the Verhoeven touch didn’t make it a failure. It was 85% action, could have done with a better goal and some of the film-science was funny but the standoff scene was done far better than the one in the original (where his friend is convincing him to shoot Biel). The original has a certain nostalgia to it but its far from a perfect film.

    • Tim says:

      I’m gonna read the short story again after I finish re-reading UBIK. By far the worst Philip K Dick adaptation is NEXT, second is Paycheck. Imposter was OK-ish—could have been better—Minority Report would have been good if Spielberg hadn’t made it and introduced the personal element of losing his son blah blah blah…Bladerunner is the best, Screamers, Scanner Darkly and then the Total Recall’s. Thats my opinion. 😀

    • Dominic A says:

      not a better goal Tim just some fleshing out of the characters . U find out a little about him ,Bokeem – who was great ! and Beckinsdale chanelling Selene once she’s not thr Good Wife . But nothing about Biel and really how they fell in love , no small details about Hauser’s conversion , or how Matthias resistance ” came to be ” . Action suffers without character development , cause you end up not caring who lives or dies …

    • VD65 says:

      Why does any movie need to be perfect? Besides that is all relative. My grievance was the star of the movie, Colin Farrell. Can’t stand the actor and never have no matter where he hails from. He should never be cast as the main star in anything. He is cringe worthy. I loved the original and think Arnold did a good job but you would think by now he could tone down his accent some. I’m not sure why people always mention Bladerunner. The movie is all right but what I don’t like about it is the lead actor and why I don’t like Star Wars much either. I liked the first prequel with the young Luke and that is about it. I’m a Star Trek fan and not into Star Wars whatever. Too comic book for me. I think some of it depends on the audience they are trying to capture. Make it more universal and it will fly better.

  9. Aaron Kelly says:

    Prometheus a “Quality” movie? What kind of drugs did you take when you saw that movie? If you compare it to most of the new garbage that has come out in the last few years, it still sucks. I know people who could quote tons of “Alien” or “Aliens” for years and still have fun showing off, I walked out of the budget wanting my $2.00…that pretty much sums it up for me.

    No offense, but I rather watch “Alien Resurrection” over Prometheus any day. At least that movie was easy to make fun of, I don’t even joke about Prometheus, the movie does that for itself.

    Avengers was fun, nothing new and it was nice to see the actors come together like the old Trek movies, even though the cast had never done seasons of a TV show, the chemistry and personality was nailed down.

    Haven’t seen The Dark Knight yet, waiting for DVD. I don’t think it will be a horrible movie but I just can’t sit for 3 hours in a movie theater anymore, just getting tired of it.

    • Dominic A says:

      I think everyone who hates Prometheus went into the theater with too many expectations ( hot director , new envisioning of a popular series , sexy stars that are good actors ). So because it’s slightly flawed in SPOTS , and doesn’t spell out a lot of backstory people rag on it hard . I read almost everything about it I saw online , but I went into the theater with no expectations – just let it wow u , ignore the silliness . And I thought it had enough good parts to outweigh the bad ones ( 60-sec abortion ?? and no crippling stomach pain … bad ) … What , no Winona fan ?? :o)) I would rather watch Noomi tho . I might watch AVP over A:R and enjoy it , but Prometheus isn’t worse than either of those …

      • ed says:

        no, prohomomeateus is bad, avp 1 and 2 are much better and aliens 1-4 and predator 1-3. Prohomomeateus is not even related to alien, the space jockeys do not look like albino gay shits. the space jockey in ‘Alien’, that was a exoskeleton, so nothing albino, gay looking was underneath. Even AVP 2 got this right, by having the space jockey exoskelton in ‘Alien’ in the Predator trophy room.

        • slyvia says:

          Exactly, alien 1, 2, 3, 4 and avp 1 and 2 and predator 1, 2, 3 are better, much better than the crap and gay and shit that is prohomomeateus, prohomomeateus is not related to alien at all.

      • Aaron Kelly says:

        So what you are saying is I should dumb myself down to enjoy the shitty film? Sorry, but no excuses, i did walk in without any kind of high expectations, I saw the movie and it sucked, it sucked hard.

        I have seen new and upcoming directors do a fantastic and better job than the people who worked on that shit-tastic Prometheus film. When you put out hand jobs like The Hunger Games, Prometheus and god knows how many reboots to movies that we just don’t need and end up hating, you end up with a sore ass, someone forgot to tell the Director a hand job isn’t about sticking his hand up someone’s ass for however long that piece of shit was, its about giving the viewer some fucking satisfaction.

  10. TheJohnP says:

    That’s what you get for casting Jessica Biel, that girl is (box office) poison.

    • JessSayin says:

      She can poison my box office anytime.

    • Joe_HTH says:

      So is Colin Farrell. He’s a bigger box office poison than Biel. Wiseman made a huge mistake casting him. Then again, Wiseman probably would have been wise(no pun intended) to not do this film.

    • VD65 says:

      That’s simply NOT true. Remember these are individual opinions but I am going to say that the younger generations have tremendous bad taste and seem to need titillation to like a movie. Many loved Hunger Games and not so much the third one but I found it all right. I have never liked the Alien franchise at all. I’m hardcore sci fi and it insults my intelligence that Aliens are shown as monstrous killers in most cases. This happens because young males like to see violence and a lot of action and movement. Prometheus didn’t have that. It was just an expedition. Since I don’t like the Alien series that turned me off when I saw this was a prequel. It could have been better true but that depends on the vision of those making the films. I like most of the Predator movies and the only movies that had the Aliens I liked was those where they are being hunted by Predators period. I wish they would stop making them. As for the Marvel movies, love them all including The Avengers which I have watched numerous times. I have been watching science fiction and fantasy for years and some they call cult classics are terrible and others people ignored were very good. I have a pretty good take on it all since I have been watching this stuff since the 50s.

  11. JessSayin says:

    I REALLY like it. Also, I don’t consider it a “remake” but a better retelling of Philip K. Dick’s short story.
    And when is Hollywood going to quit putting all it’s chips on Colin Farrell?

  12. Adrian Khan (The Soca Warrior) says:

    Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel better be glad they are white,or else they wouldn’t get the chance fail at the box office consistently.

  13. I really liked it and i thought it was the best part that colin has played cos i dont really rate him as an actor generally. but i was happily surprised by the fllm….especially cos its hard to go up against an arnie classic.

    as for prometheus it is my favourite film of the year absolutely fantastic! cant wait for the next installment everything about it was right on the money…just like the first one…a thinking persons alien movie….bloody brilliant.

  14. James Vetzal says:

    i just want to say 2 things.
    i feel every single remake is always put under way too much scrutiny and double standards, like complaining they didn’t change anything and complaining when they do change something.
    this movie in particular i’ve heard both as major reasons people didn’t like it
    as a big Philip k. Dick fan i was excited for this movie cause i love the original and would have loved too see one of his best mind fuckeries with genuine good effects and not that horrifically lame scene where arnie almost explodes.
    i finally got to see this a couple days ago, i really cant see what’s so wrong with it.
    there’s no mars like the original story, has a great design, cool action and the world was thought out including random design elements in the background that was very much inspired by real world concepts and such.
    i just didn’t see any big screw ups (i can see people being disappointed with an unambiguous ending, but people also hate endings that are ambiguous) and bad writing lines.
    i wanna go on too say i think it would have done waay better without the existing movie.
    because honestly how many of you just assumed it would be bad imply because it’s a remake, which there are many many great remakes (including some of the widely regarded all time greats like Leon and Reservoir Dogs (unofficial))

  15. sid says:

    promethues or pro-homo-mearteus was shit, not alien at all, there are only 4 alien movies and two spin off alien movies and three predator movies. pro-homo-meateus is just shit

    • nikki says:

      Total true, i will now call that gay movie prometheus, prohomomeatues, those aliens look like gay albino’s. Stupid, stupid, stupid movie.

      • nil says:

        Just goes to show that all sci fi is gay now. Except for Star Wars. Star Wars is still cool and so is Red Dwarf. New episodes of Red Dwarf and Star Wars – The Clone Wars are awesome. Looking forward to the live action Star Wars series. Read some of the scripts for it in Star Wars Insider.

        Doctor Who 2005- remake is gay and shit, Blakes 7 remake will be gay and shit. The new Bourne, I mean Bond movies, the daniel craig ones are gay a shit, totally ignoring the previous 20 movies, total shit. The christopher nolan batman films are gay and shit. The jj abrahams star trek remake is gay and shit. Now the stupid prohomomeateus movie, promeatheus is gay and shit, no way this is related to alien at all, it is shit.

        • gaz says:

          uh??? farscapes not gay…promo is shite though

        • VD65 says:

          Why do you write like that? How can anyone take what you are saying seriously? I hate Star Wars so this is relative to who is watching the movies and their tastes. Many like Star Wars but they are not the best science fiction fantasy movies ever to be made. Dr. Who is all right but I like Torchwood much more.The newer Batman movies are the best and the last one was fantastic. I can’t stand any of the Alien movies so that goes to show you that your ideas are yours and don’t apply to everyone. I don’t watch them because I think they are stupid, bad science fiction. Don’t use the word gay, it’s offensive even if I’m not gay. It makes people who write that sound like teenagers.

      • VD65 says:

        You two believe that because you think your take on how the movie should have gone is right. Not everyone agrees. I just felt it didn’t have enough meat in it. It was scenic and all and some things very interesting but it went too long and it should have gone into the background of the alien at the beginning. Other than that it is as good as most Science Fiction movies. Many times they seem to over think things, make it too intellectual and miscast the movies. Colin Farrell is NOT a popular actor. He needs to stay in supporting roles. He does those quite well.

  16. norm says:

    total recall should not have been remade! the original is a sci fi classic and this version was just BAD

    • Joe_HTH says:

      The original Total Recall was ’80s B-movie shlock. It doesn’t even come close to being a classic. Fun movie, but that’s about it.

      • VD65 says:

        Total Recall was not even close to a B-movie but it was somewhat tongue in cheek in many ways. I love that movie and have watched it a number of times. I have watched hundreds of science fiction/fantasy movies over the years and I can assure you that movie doesn’t come close to a B and I doubt the newer version does either. I’m a senior and movie hound and I watch the majority in the genre of science fiction so please unless you have seen all levels of movies in the hundred refrain from labeling because there are so many that are really bad and none of them mentioned here fit that bill. I just don’t personally like some of them but that doesn’t mean they are bad or of a B level; just not my taste.

  17. Avengers is the most mindless, plotless, robot-acted piece of crap ever to come from Marvel films

    • great cgi though that’s the same as being good, right?

    • VD65 says:

      I don’t know where you got that idea but I have watched it numerous times and you are totally wrong. It was a wonderful, funny and entertaining movie. If you don’t like movies that are drawn from comic books then don’t go to see them. Avengers was a big box office hit so most don’t agree with you or your taste. I love the movie and have watched it numerous times. Some of the lines are very funny but if you are not the right age you might not get them. You didn’t like the Avengers, so what, you are a minority. I just don’t know why you say robot acting. That is so far from the truth. The acting was very good and nothing close to robotic. Most of the actors are seasoned actors and where you come up with that is a mystery to me. Maybe you are trying to sound cool but don’t take on a job as a reviewer. The plot was very evident and led to the opening of the next to follow. I don’t mean to be rude but when people post aimless things like this and think what they are saying is viable, I just don’t get why they bother.

  18. Chris Fields says:

    So much better than the original!! Don’t be a sheep…

  19. Brian says:

    Prometheus…a good movie?! It set the bar for making every movie I watch enjoyable comparably. Freaking awful movie…Prometheus, disgustingly bad.

    • VD65 says:

      I think labeling the movie bad is a wrong idea. What people mean is they had expectations and it didn’t go where they wanted it to go. There were numerous things in the movie that were outstanding. My only qualm with it was that it was too long and connected to the Alien stories. They needed to have less action and a little more background. Other than that it was as good as many science fiction movies.

  20. VD65 says:

    I haven’t seen this version of Total Recall but what would turn me off is Colin Farrell being in it. I have always felt he was a sleeze and I won’t watch most movies he is in unless someone else holds the movie up such as Minority Report. I just can’t stand the actor. As for Battleship, I loved the movie and have watched it many times. It wasn’t a bad movie at all and I don’t know why people went that direction. Prometheus is mentioned as successful but the movie had good special effects but was totally boring. I see no problem with remakes but get the right leading actor first.