If you haven't expected too much from the recent remake of Total Recall, you won't be "disappointed". As usual, it's (not so) debatable whether or not Paul Verhoeven's 1990 film with Arnold Schwarzenegger has needed a remake at all but the 2012 movie actually begins well and is decent till the middle of the narrative. But it looks like shortly after that point the filmmakers have decided it's time to spoil the film and they have achieved it perfectly.
The story of the new Total Recall is expectedly not original. The plot is pretty much similar to that of the 1990 movie and the setting is the main difference between the two. In a future post apocalyptic world the only two inhabitable areas on Earth are a federation over today's British isles and a colony in Australia. The colony provides "cheap" labor for the federation and here is the main issue with the first part of the movie: to make it "faster" the workers travel through the center of the Earth. Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) is one of the factory workers who do this exercise every day. His beautiful wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale) is not enough to make him happy and he has permanent nightmarish dream involving another woman (Jessica Biel). One day Quaid decides to visit Rekall, a company implanting fake memories. But the visit goes wrong and Quaid is forced to run from the authorities and believing more and more he has been previously a spy.
Total Recall is a movie that will hardly surprise you if you've seen its ancestor. It is not set on Mars but this doesn't make the film really different in terms of plot. There is still a resistance movement against the totalitarian federation regime and Quaid is not sure where to look for his origin. The two surviving areas on Earth are well crafted and one of the few highlights of the movie. Quaid and the rest of the factory workers produce robot soldiers whose purpose seems to be to protect the federation against the colony resistance, which is not very smart. If the only benefit of using colony workers were to produce soldiers fighting against the oppressed colony why would you need to master the colony in the first place.
But if there has been any chance to like the movie after its decent but not so convincing beginning this chance is being completely devastated along Total Recall's accession to conclusion. For example, we are surprised by the fact the federation has not thought to search for the resistance in the most probable location. But the "best" is when Douglas Quaid decides to take a walk in his bare skin outside of a "vehicle" running with 20000 miles per hour at temperatures of several thousands degrees. Colin Farrell might be a better actor than Arnold Schwarzenegger but even Schwarzenegger rarely does such stupid things in his movies.
The only other bonus making this movie watchable in addition to some good visuals is the presence of Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel but on the other hand if your purpose is just to watch beautiful women Total Recall is hardly the most appropriate film to choose.