LOS ANGELES -- Colin Farrell watched the 1990 version of "Total Recall" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger after signing for the remake with Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel and Bryan Cranston.
"I did it more to annoy myself and give myself a dose of the nerves, to see if I could instill in myself any premature regrets," Farrell says. "I had seen the original four or five times in my life and loved it, loved it, loved it. Because I watched it, I had an idea of what I was getting myself into. I also knew there was a corner of the film fanatical society around the world that REALLY, REALLY loved that film and probably feels strongly about anyone revisiting the material."
Farrell felt he could move ahead with the film because, while the basic elements are the same -- a world where a person can be given any memories with a simple injection -- there is a far darker tone.
The actor was familiar with the original story by Philip K. Dick and marveled at the complexity the author put into the story. One thing that has changed from the first film adaptation -- and the book -- is no trip to Mars for the finale. In the new film it is a more Earth-bound adventure.
As an actor, Farrell likes that there's not trip to Mars.
"But, as a film fan, I missed the mutants, the little person on the bar with a fully automatic machine gun. The fan in me wanted more things that were in the original film, but that was the fan in me," Farrell says. "I trusted that this was a new vision of a story already told."
TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, firstname.lastname@example.org or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.