Total Recall (1990)

Total Recall (1990)
  • Time: 113 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
  • Director: Paul Verhoeven
  • Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Rachel Ticotin


Douglas Quaid is haunted by a recurring dream about a journey to Mars. He hopes to find out more about this dream and buys a holiday at Rekall Inc. where they sell implanted memories. But something goes wrong with the memory implantation and he remembers being a secret agent fighting against the evil Mars administrator Cohaagen. Now the story really begins and it’s a rollercoaster ride until the massive end of the movie.

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  • A construction worker who looks like an Austrian bodybuilder, who may or may not be a secret agent. Alien mutants with psychic powers. A marinate cab driver. A dwarf girl with a machine gun. A beautiful buff big haired 80’s ball busting Sharon Stone.

    Let’s travel back to July of 1990 when a new science fiction adventure movie was released that seemed to capture everybody’s attention, back when a guy’s movie meant a man’s movie and you had to wait six months or longer for it to arrive home on VHS or laserdisc. But you won’t need a time machine, just a newfangled DVD or Blu-ray player and get your hands on the 1990 version of Total Recall. Starring a never better and still in his prime Arnold Schwarzenegger, who here gives closer to a real performance than anyone was used to. No less than Roger Ebert praised big Arnold for his acting in this one. From Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, who was fresh off the equally great RoboCop and a string of excellent films from his native homeland, Soldier of Orange being the best.

    This is what action movies seriously are all about. Featuring an array of then stunning visual effects, now perhaps gloriously out dated. Rubber monsters and miniatures are used courtesy of the legendary Rob Bottin, the kind of stuff some of us have never gotten over. In a gorephically violent over the top manner, that is nothing like what is to be found in the watered down contemporary PG-13 rated action pictures, so extreme in fact that the movie had to be cut to avoid an X-rating.

    To say I can’t get enough of Total Recall would be an understatement. And I’m not alone, the movie was a huge blockbuster in it’s time, now a cult classic, based in part on a short story by Blade Runner author Philip K. Dick. The picture earned critical praise and audience adulation becoming one of the corner stones of the then booming action film.

    Today, along with the Terminator movies and Predator, this is one of Schwarzenegger’s most recognizable and beloved movies. Set in 2084, and using a totally original look at the familiar genre clich├ęs. It’s easy to see why audiences flocked to this, and why so many are still singing it’s praises. With exceptionally filmed action scenes, a sly sense of humor, and an unexpected ambiguous ending. This wasn’t just a run of the mill action picture, even in it’s day.

    Not like so many of today’s movies that are overflowing with just too much CGI, weak storytelling and dull characters. Why a remake know, after a mere twenty-two years, well I would guess because this never had the opportunity to became a franchise, despite long standing rumors of a sequel, that the producers could milk for future dollars. With no sense of history, many audiences will most likely never see, or even if they did see, be able to enjoy the quaint pleasures of this genre classic. A different kind of beast than they are used too, something more mythical, perhaps.

    I don’t want to get preachy here, we are all entitled to like what we like, but for many of us the good old days are really over for good, but a classic never goes out of style.

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