Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on August 2012

An assembly-line drudge in a dystopian future goes to a recreational memory-implant service and accidentally discovers that everything he knows is wrong and that he is really some sort of rebel super-agent. I guess what everyone wants to know is how this “remake” by Len Wiseman (responsible for those noisy, pointless Underworld movies) stacks up against the still-vividly remembered, highly enjoyable 1990 movie by Paul Verhoven (Robocop, Basic Instinct). Not well. For starters, where the original packed a R-rated punch, this one’s rated a bland PG-13 for $ome rea$on. Colin Farrell’s of course a better actor than Schwa-chan but somehow less effective here. The characters of the guy’s treacherous wife Lori and the government agent Richter have been combined, apparently to give the director’s wife, Kate Beckinsale, more to do. It’s good-looking but graceless, kinetic but somber, and the relentless chase scenes, explosions and splashy SFX are ultimately deadening. There’s scant coherence, humor or humanity; a lot of it looks like a video game; no one goes to Mars; and derivative of Star Wars it is. The major surprise occurred about halfway through, when I realized how incredibly much I was not being entertained.