Based on the Philip K. Dick short story, “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”, Total Recall is a futuristic sci-fi action/thriller starring Colin Farrell, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Biel, and Kate Beckinsale. In the movie, Farrell’s character, Doug Quaid, goes to a company named Rekall that can implant memories into your mind that artificially change the events of your life, thus giving you the choice to have any past that you desire. Of course the process goes haywire and Quaid is caught in the middle of a war between two nation states. 

Director Len Wiseman’s tone is gritty and realistic here as the world of Euromerica jumps right off the pages of a dystopian sci-fi novel and onto the big screen in grand form. There are elements of Blade Runner and Minority Report present in the design of the world, which makes sense because both of those movies were based on Dick’s work as well. Visually, this movie looks like it will fall right into the wheelhouse of any self-respecting sci-fi fan out there.

However, Paul Verhoeven's original 1990 adaptation of the story is such as classic that it will be hard for Wiseman, Farrell, and Cranston to live up to it, despite the sharp special effects. We’ve seen this story before and loved it, so it's a mystery to us why anyone would try to improve upon it.

For this movie to truly stand out from the original, it’s going to have to do more than shift around a couple of plot points and characters. There needs to be fresh, new themes to explore and a whole new emotional involvement with the characters. If not, it will just be the same thing we saw over two decades ago with some impressive visuals.

We’ll see if Wiseman is up to the task when Total Recall hits theaters on August 3.