"Crazy new gadgets, vigorous action sequences and a thorough production-design makeover aren't enough to keep Total Recall from feeling like a near-total redundancy," writes Justin Chang of Variety. "Pic is considerably slicker than its predecessor but hardly sleeker."
"Original this thing is not, and necessary it's not, either," notes Michael Philips of the Chicago Tribune. "Then again, how many big-budget do-overs can be described as strictly necessary? Though director Len Wiseman's film is more hectic than inspired, it certainly moves."
"The ingenuity of the plot, inspired by a Philip K. Dick story, is handled well in this version," states Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times. "Total Recall is well-crafted, high energy sci-fi...It never touched me emotionally, though, the way the 1990 film did, and strictly speaking, isn't necessary."
"It isn't unwatchable - the buildings look cool, the fighting is fine, Farrell is likable, Beckinsale's a hoot and Jessica Biel, while hardly a master thespian, bats her eyelashes real well," remarks Jordan Hoffman of Film.com. "But the movie just has nothing to offer. It has nothing new to say, despite shouting at the top of its voice."
"It's big and it's loud, but ultimately not much more than that," says Bill Goodykoontz of the Arizona Republic.
"This movie is a reaction to the original as much as it's a remake, and because of that, I think it manages to carve out its own identity," writes Drew McWeeny of HitFix.
"Convoluted, humorless Total Recall lacks fun of the Arnold original," offers up Movieline's Alison Willmore, but adds: "Yes, there is a triple-breasted hooker."