Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel and Bryan Cranston co-star for director Len Wiseman (“Underworld”), who must try to top the wonderful excesses of Paul Verhoeven’s film.
We’re 100 years in the future. Memories can be invented, introduced, changed, bought and sold.
“We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” was the title of the story this is based on. And the folks at Rekall are all about tinkering with your memory, your reality. “Tell us your fantasy, we’ll give you the memory,” a Rekall guru (John Cho) purrs. “What is life but our brain’s perception of it?”
Exactly. It’s a measure of this movie’s mediocrity that the many credited screenwriters and the director cannot make more of that possibility.
We never are made to doubt Doug’s reality, any more than he does.
Doug (Farrell) has been waking up with Lori (Beckinsale), but dreaming of Melina (Biel). And it turns out, those dreams are his real past — an agent mixed up with a rebellion, a sexy rebel agent (Biel) working for the rebel leader (Bill Nighy) or perhaps for the fearless leader, played by with generic villainy by Bryan Cranston of TV’s “Breaking Bad.”
Humanity has barely survived a chemical world war and we’re living in two enclaves — Euromerica and New Shanghai.
And we’re living in layers, stacked up from the surface, where futuristic Mini Coopers and Fiats remain, to way up in the sky, where futuristic hover-cars and rotor-less helicopters roam.
And keeping the peace — “Synthetic Federal Police,” who take their fashion cues from the armored Storm Troopers of “Star Wars.”
In this future, cell phones are implanted in your hand, paper money still exists, guns still use bullets and darned if those bullets still don’t miss when the hero and his rediscovered heroine are dodging them. Not a lot of room for acting in between the sprints.
It’s a “Blade Runner” world of dark and rain, a “Fifth Element” future of stacked up “levels” of humanity and traffic. No doubt about it, there’s a lot to take in, visually, during the endless chase that runs Doug through skylights, awnings, crowded streets, subway cars and this vast shuttle that shoots people through the center of the Earth from Britain to Australia. So, kudos where they’re due — to production designer Patrick Tatopolous. (PG-13, 122 minutes)
— Roger Moore, McClatchy Tribune News Wire Service
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
This adaptation of the fourth book in Jeff Kinney’s popular series follows best pals Greg (Zachary Gordon) and Rowley (Robert Capron) as they figure out what to do with themselves during summer break.
Gordon, the fresh-faced lad who landed the coveted “Wimpy Kid” role in the adaptations of Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” movies, has had a growth spurt. His Greg Heffley is taller than his portly pal, Rowley (Capron), almost tall enough not to have to take any more guff from his bullying older brother, Rodrick (Devon Bostick).
Greg’s voice has changed. But in the summer before he goes into eighth grade, he’s still inept around girls, still lying to his parents, still self-absorbed and rude to others. The lying is what he does to “make a connection” to the pretty blonde Holly Hills (Peyton List).