Total Recall

1990

Action / Adventure

123
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 84%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 78%
IMDb Rating 7.5

Synopsis


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August 12, 2012 at 2:10 am

Director

Cast

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Douglas Quaid/Hauser
Sharon Stone as Lori
Michael Ironside as Richter
Rachel Ticotin as Melina
720p 1080p
750.84 MB
1280*688
English
R
English
23.976 fps
1hr 53 min
P/S 4 / 11
1.75 GB
1920*1040
English
R
English
23.976 fps
1hr 53 min
P/S 17 / 79

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Brandt Sponseller 10 / 10

Great action, great suspense, great cultural satire, and a great mind-bender

Set during an unspecified future era, Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a construction worker who longs for a trip to Mars. His wife, Lori (Sharon Stone) isn't so keen on it--she'd prefer a trip to Saturn, or a space cruise. Riding on the subway one day, Quaid notices a television advertisement for a company named Rekall, which specializes in memory implants of vacations. Quaid checks into it as an alternate means of having a "Mars vacation". While at Rekall, he chooses an alternate personality upgrade of a secret agent. However, while undergoing the procedure, something goes wrong. He learns that his Quaid identity was a memory implant and he really _is_ a secret agent. Now that he has his real memory back, he's on the run and he escapes to Mars. But why is everyone after him?

Total Recall, based on "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale", a short story from 1974 by Philip K. Dick (and novelized in conjunction with the film production by Piers Anthony), had a laborious history getting to the silver screen. Tens of drafts were written. Production companies were attached then went out of business. Many directors and stars were attached who either changed their minds or who were dropped. Luckily, Arnold Schwarzenegger talked Carolco into picking up the project for him, with Paul Verhoeven--who'd already proved his mettle on the similarly toned RoboCop (1987)--on board as director, because this is an excellent film.

While Total Recall certainly has influences, including "The Martian Chronicles" (1980), Dune (1984) and the first major film based on a Philip K. Dick work, Blade Runner (1982), it's more notable for the films that it has influenced in subsequent years, including The Fifth Element (1997) and many of the "rubber reality" films such as Abre los ojos (1997)/Vanilla Sky (2001) and The Thirteenth Floor (1999). It's also yet another film on the very long list that have had various elements "adapted" into part of The Matrix (1999)--most explicitly here, the "bug" that Quaid has to remove from his body with a high-tech machine and the possibility of "waking up" from a particular reality by taking "the red pill".

Although it's easy to interpret Total Recall in a very straightforward manner, so that the bulk of what we're seeing at any particular moment and the bulk of the dialogue are the literal reality, very convincing arguments can be made that the majority of the film is a depiction of Quaid's memory implant while in the "patient's chair" at Rekall. And those certainly aren't the only two interpretations possible.

What matters more than thinking one has a "right answer", though, is the deeply captivating story that provokes our interpretations and the amount of fun we have getting there. Verhoeven and the scriptwriting team, which included Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett, the writing team behind the Alien films (beginning with Alien, 1979), never let us go very long without another plot twist, most of which force a reinterpretation of the material that went before. The twists occur about once per every ten minutes, if not more frequently.

The film is notable for its special effects by Rob Bottin, which were far ahead of their time, and its fantastic production and art design, which manage to make us feel both that we're experiencing a vicarious trip to a "future grunge" Mars and an almost "Doctor Who" (1963)-ish absurdly artificial reality, complete with supersaturated red skies, ala Frank R. Paul's illustrated covers for the Amazing Stories fiction magazine.

Some locations in Mexico were used for the film, including some subway shots on Mars, and actual commercial sign age was incorporated into the film. There's a lot of fun to be had noticing all of the cultural differences and similarities that the future era of the film will bring. Verhoeven delights in subtle glimpses of various symbols and accoutrement's. His view of the future is one full of corruption, commercialism and decadence. He doesn't have much confidence in a "bright new world" as humans spread out to new territory.

Verhoeven is basically extending the way things are now to the future; it's as if he sees our state as indicative of human nature, so that as long as we're humans, people are going to be taking advantage of one another, trying to control one another, engaging in behavior that's a conflict between desires and societal mores, but also helping out each other when the going gets tough. In these respects, Total Recall has culture-satirical similarities to later films such as Starship Troopers (1997), which isn't surprising given that Verhoeven directed both films. It's notable that Total Recall's future is not quite as bleak as Starship Trooper's.

But the film is hardly less violent. Verhoeven's initial cut was given an X by the MPAA for violence. A number of scenes had to have small edits, most of which have thankfully been restored on at least one special edition DVD. The violence here is a lot more small scale and personal than Starship Troopers. In terms of the visceral, Total Recall often rides a gray area somewhere between action and horror. While the action isn't as explosive as many Schwarzenegger films, the suspense never resolves until the end. This is an amazing thrill ride of a film.

Reviewed by Claudio Carvalho 10 / 10

Excellent Even When You Watch It For More Than Ten Times

The worker Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) dreams on Mars for many consecutive nights. He invites his wife Lori (Sharon Stone) to spend vacation on Mars, but she does not agree, since the planet ruled by the tyrant Vilos Cohaagen (Ronny Cox), who sells oxygen for the population, is facing resistance movement and terrorist acts leaded by the mutant Kuato. Douglas decides to go to the Rekall Company to implant virtual vacation memories of Mars for his own satisfaction, using a special program with the identity of a secret agent. While in the process, something goes wrong and Douglas becomes aggressive, and the process is interrupted. While returning home, the life of Douglas turns upside down, and he travels to the red planet trying to disclose who he is.

Today I have watched "Total Recall" at least for the tenth time, now on DVD. Again, I found it an excellent sci-fi film with non-stop action. The story has many twists, and the screenplay has no flaws, being very attractive. This was the first movie that the beauty of the unknown Sharon Stone (in 1990) called my attention. Arnold Schwarzenegger is great performing a dubious hero, and Michael Ironside is the perfect villain. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "O Vingador do Futuro" ("The Avenger of the Future")

Reviewed by Theo Robertson 8 / 10

Certainly One Of Arnie's Best Ever Movies


I've seen TOTAL RECALL many times over the years and I'm never failed to be impressed with it . Some people dislike it and I feel I must defend the movie

" Confused plot " - Sorry but I managed to understand the complex plot first time I saw the movie and was impressed that Hollywood had merged a high concept plot with a FX laden extravaganza , such a pity this didn't lead to more thoughtful action adventures . If you want to see a confused plot try watching a James Bond movie from the 1980s

" The violence " - Yeah this is a violent movie for sure but I do wish people would educate themselves to the work of directors before they criticize . Paul Verhoeven had previously made FLESH AND BLOOD and ROBOCOP so a futuristic adventure by Verhoeven that was awarded an 18 certificate isn't going to be confused with an episode of the teletubbies

What I liked from Verhoeven's directing is that he's made everything so recognizable , nothing is ridiculously futuristic looking and we see the characters wearing clothes that wouldn't look out of place in the 1980s . Verhoeven also brings little satirical stabs to the proceedings as he did with ROBOCOP and it's a great shame we see less and less of this European director working for Hollywood

Verhoeven even gets a good performance from Big Arnie , okay this body builder was never in danger of winning an Oscar but Arnie doesn't send himself up and nor do his wise cracks like in his other blockbusters but he does make for an affable - Though violent - hero . Michael Ironside gives the most memorable performance which considering he spends most of the movie running around with a gun is no small achievement .

One interesting thing I noticed about TOTAL RECALL after seeing it again last night is that it's unapologetic on being on the side of the rebels who are waging a war against the greedy Mars company . Anyone believe that if it was made today the rebels/terrorists would be the bad guys ?

Anyway this is along with the original TERMINATOR the best movie starring Arnie though most of the credit for this movie belongs to the screenwriters and director and it's a great pity Hollywood is reluctant to mix a high concept SF plot with a crowd pleasing action adventure

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