Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Total Recall Isn't An Affair To Remember

Plus, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is mildly amusing but predictable.

by | August 3, 2012 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got artificial memories (Total Recall, starring Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale) and summertime blues (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, starring Zachary Gordon and Steve Zahn). What do the critics have to say?

Total Recall


If you’re going to remake a modern classic, you’d better bring something new to the table. Unfortunately, critics say this new Total Recall is visually impressive, but it swaps out the existential anxiety and eccentric panache of Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 film for an overabundance of action set-pieces. Suffering from disturbing dreams, Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) decides to visit Rekall, a company that implants memories of an exciting vacation. When the procedure goes awry, however, Quaid becomes the target of a manhunt, and teams up with a beautiful rebel agent (Jessica Biel) on a mission to destroy the Rekall Corporation. The pundits say Total Recall, while technically sound, could use some of the wit and vulnerability that Arnold Schwarzenegger brought to the original. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down noteworthy films about memory loss.)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days


The Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise has been nothing if not consistent; each movie chronicles the terrors of middle school with moderate wit and little elegance. Critics say the latest entry, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, offers more of the same: a few decent laughs and an awful lot of predictability. Zachary Gordon stars yet again as Greg Heffley, who finds himself bereft of summer plans. To stave off boredom, our hero pretends to have a job at a country club and embarks on an ill-fated camping trip. The pundits say Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is warm and reasonably amusing, but it feels more like a sitcom than a feature film.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Mosquita Y Mari, a coming-of-age drama about the close friendship between two Los Angeles teens, is at 88 percent.
  • Girlfriend Boyfriend, a romantic comedy about the love lives of three classmates during an era of political upheaval in Taiwan, is at 83 percent.
  • You’ve Been Trumped, a documentary about a group of Scottish homeowners protesting a plan by the Donald to build a golf course on an environmentally sensitive area, is at 79 percent.
  • Celeste and Jesse Forever, starring Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg in a dramedy about a divorced couple that attempts to maintain a close friendship, is at 77 percent.
  • Dreams of a Life, a docudrama about a woman who died in her apartment and wasn’t discovered for three years, is at 74 percent.
  • Sushi: The Global Catch, a doc about the environmental impact of the popular Japanese dish, is at 67 percent.
  • 360, starring Jude Law and Rachel Weisz in a drama about disparate characters whose lives intersect through a series of affairs, is at 32 percent.
  • The Babymakers, starring Olivia Munn and Paul Schneider in a comedy about a couple that conspires to rob a sperm bank in a desperate attempt to conceive a child, is at four percent.
  • Assassin’s Bullet, starring Christian Slater and Donald Sutherland in a thriller about an FBI agent on the trail of a terrorist-killing vigilante, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

Cosplay Rom-Com Extras TCA thriller Trailer Nat Geo biography Sneak Peek A&E Fox News PBS composers 2015 X-Men The Arrangement Box Office E! vampires Fall TV BBC Masterpiece Winter TV Horror Star Wars Syfy Teen Biopics MSNBC Amazon Musicals Tumblr Nominations VICE El Rey ESPN police drama TCM singing competition sitcom zombie Animation Infographic Super Bowl Countdown aliens 2016 History CBS boxoffice ITV Reality Competition Thanksgiving 2017 Election DirecTV Star Trek 24 frames Rock Universal Ghostbusters TV ABC SDCC AMC Action travel TLC Rocky TV Land ABC Family comiccon cops Best and Worst Lifetime APB HBO Cartoon Network First Look Watching Series Music Disney Channel based on movie Video Games Oscars WGN Grammys Marvel Fantasy Freeform Red Carpet historical drama FXX Nickelodeon Toys Adult Swim cooking Tomatazos Mary Tyler Moore President Valentine's Day CBS All Access sports dramedy TruTV adventure Trivia Crackle LGBTQ crime Emmys American Society of Cinematographers TNT USA Set visit Photos TCA 2017 TBS Pop Country BBC America technology Showtime serial killer The CW Holidays Food Network GoT SundanceTV Character Guide BET MTV Calendar TIFF CNN Comedy Kids & Family Disney Comic Book Esquire OWN Netflix GIFs CMT DC Comics RT History Reality Winners supernatural VH1 Martial Arts Summer diversity NYCC crime thriller crime drama science fiction period drama Premiere Dates Schedule GLAAD Drama Pirates social media Polls and Games war Year in Review NBC Comedy Central cinemax FX docudrama Writers Guild of America Bravo PaleyFest Marathons Opinion Musical Starz politics harry potter FOX psycho IFC Spring TV Certified Fresh Interview Hulu Podcast discovery Lionsgate Logo Dark Horse Comics 007 Sundance Sci-Fi Superheroes Mystery Awards