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

game show LGBT Food Network kids movie Fox News Emmy Nominations ratings tv talk FOX Rock Nickelodeon DC Universe Comedy Quiz TCA Awards indie worst movies Britbox 45 composers psycho witnail mockumentary films zombie screen actors guild Amazon quibi blockbuster comiccon streaming Comics on TV Paramount politics Creative Arts Emmys YouTube Red Rom-Com news Pirates Writers Guild of America Tarantino superhero Black History Month emmy awards Disney+ Disney Plus Adult Swim screenings ghosts supernatural cancelled television HBO Max Apple true crime Ovation Reality Chilling Adventures of Sabrina reviews war SDCC Hear Us Out Funimation BET Academy Awards Pride Month south america YouTube Premium game of thrones Election Amazon Prime Video Marvel Television Academy Ghostbusters TCA Winter 2020 Biopics Walt Disney Pictures hollywood cats Endgame Paramount Network parents TV renewals joker nfl chucky Trophy Talk AMC DGA WarnerMedia harry potter Travel Channel Mary Poppins Returns 2017 award winner sports space Set visit Amazon Studios comics dark video 2016 Avengers venice football San Diego Comic-Con The CW Watching Series Podcast GIFs Video Games Tubi movies spanish language Classic Film strong female leads asian-american social media Infographic talk show Discovery Channel Heroines Tumblr facebook natural history Year in Review cults cancelled TV series A24 documentaries scary movies CMT American Society of Cinematographers Warner Bros. Stephen King BAFTA franchise elevated horror jamie lee curtis Rocky doctor who stop motion Trailer The Walking Dead Musicals Marvel Television children's TV Television Critics Association Teen free movies Cosplay Binge Guide psychological thriller Winners sequels crime drama period drama LGBTQ First Reviews based on movie indiana jones ABC Family miniseries twilight political drama Nominations Christmas series crossover aliens DC Comics Interview Mary Tyler Moore hist National Geographic Sneak Peek dc Brie Larson Extras disaster classics technology DC streaming service Universal foreign USA Network Superheroe canceled TV shows child's play Showtime First Look sag awards Holiday mission: impossible rotten robots zero dark thirty anime Sci-Fi Starz comic Schedule Disney name the review cartoon Columbia Pictures Sundance Now science fiction vampires remakes hispanic cinemax Sundance TV Opinion romantic comedy stoner IFC Films TV X-Men sequel 24 frames CNN BBC One ABC FX on Hulu toronto Baby Yoda Star Trek History Marvel Studios TCA 2017 MTV PBS Pop TV Horror PaleyFest Fall TV 2018 TBS Elton John obituary Nat Geo DirecTV richard e. Grant revenge Mystery See It Skip It comedies concert Netflix Christmas movies video on demand BBC America stand-up comedy Trivia all-time zombies Pet Sematary APB VH1 die hard romance Netflix spain VOD theme song Comic Book spider-man ITV 2015 TIFF latino slashers SXSW Acorn TV a nightmare on elm street cooking police drama Toys USA blaxploitation Lifetime Calendar Sony Pictures Freeform 20th Century Fox Turner Classic Movies MSNBC Spectrum Originals halloween spinoff critics fast and furious Star Wars animated Vudu YouTube Disney streaming service MCU Bravo The Purge binge satire book transformers Logo Captain marvel Spring TV VICE Music BBC adaptation Awards medical drama werewolf Sundance El Rey TruTV scorecard Superheroes dogs casting Hallmark Christmas movies Rocketman GLAAD worst dragons spy thriller TV Land renewed TV shows Shondaland Song of Ice and Fire 4/20 cars Black Mirror thriller Lucasfilm FX dramedy Shudder Pop RT History Amazon Prime toy story batman christmas movies ESPN Valentine's Day crime thriller Syfy teaser Peacock Masterpiece Cartoon Network HBO Go A&E Winter TV Reality Competition unscripted diversity Film Festival 2019 Film Summer Emmys Marathons Countdown CBS Crunchyroll Apple TV+ crime Character Guide golden globes SundanceTV cops Certified Fresh TLC Spike YA Hallmark 21st Century Fox Chernobyl canceled Polls and Games television Holidays documentary GoT Mary poppins RT21 Arrowverse FXX cancelled TV shows Tomatazos Anna Paquin Box Office green book Action boxoffice Red Carpet Mudbound The Witch The Arrangement Crackle Drama NBC BET Awards OWN Epix Mindy Kaling historical drama sitcom Women's History Month Lionsgate nature festival what to watch best CW Seed Dark Horse Comics Fantasy Western WGN cancelled Thanksgiving 2020 Kids & Family NYCC dceu 72 Emmy Awards Premiere Dates Super Bowl CBS All Access Photos rotten movies we love Ellie Kemper justice league breaking bad reboot Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt festivals E3 nbcuniversal docudrama OneApp Disney Plus Esquire serial killer travel Animation Cannes versus PlayStation Disney Channel Apple TV Plus 71st Emmy Awards directors Lifetime Christmas movies discovery biography Family Grammys Turner Pixar mutant Oscars President Hulu singing competition Comedy Central IFC Martial Arts New York Comic Con TCM Awards Tour universal monsters independent laika TCA Musical criterion 007 Best and Worst TNT finale adventure E! HBO anthology Country