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Total Recall
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Reviews & Ratings for
Total Recall More at IMDbPro »

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Brash, Bold, violent, Ironside

9/10
Author: peter (peterholley99@hotmail.com) from Winchester, England
10 December 2002

This Philip K Dick adaptation is epic science fiction cinema. It's like a modern day 1950s sci-fi film with a huge budget and excessive violence. The film tells the story of Doug Quaid (Arnie) who has dreams about mars, and decides to go to Recall - implementer of fake memories - to get a two week memory of mars. Unfortunately Arnie's trip to recall triggers strange memories. Has Quaid really been to mars before? Is Quaid really a secret agent who is mixed up in an inter-planetary conspiracy? So, from the this point on the plot twists and turns as Arnie tries to work out what's going on. The story is quite engaging, but what really makes this film a classic is the over the top performances, the ridiculous violence and the dodgy special effects. Arnie was never going to win an oscar for this film, but on purely entertainment value he is awesome. Just check out the scene where Arnie is grabbed by Gary and his goons and Arnie screams 'what the f*** did I do wrong?'. This has to be seen to be believed. Truly an actor at the peak of his powers. But as good as Arnie is he cannot compare to the great supporting cast. Michael Ironside puts in the performance of a life time as henchman Richter. This b-movie actor is always immensely watchable in everything he does, but it seems that Verhoeven brings out the best in him. His style is impeccable as he sneers his way through the film. The final fight scene between Arnie and Ironside on the lift, is perhaps one of the all time great movie fight scenes. I recommend repeat viewing for this scene. The rest of the supporting cast is also thankfully truly awful, in a great way. Relative unknown Mel Johnson jnr positively sizzles as mutant cabby Benny, and other Verhoeven favourites, Marshall Bell and Ronny Cox prove their worth. Cox totally hams it up as bad guy Cohagen. As for the Special effects, this film won best special effects at the oscars, and I know it's over a decade old now, but I really don't now how that was possible. I love this film for all the wrong reasons. It is said that when Philip K Dick saw Blade Runner he said it was exactly as he had imagined it while writing the book. I'd love to know what his thoughts would have been on Recall.

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Arnold's best performance

7/10
Author: Ville Heikkinen from Finland
2 December 2002

Even this is an old movie, Arnold Swcharzenegger has never ever performed this well, firstly, this is the only role he really fits to, and well, he pulled this one nicely.

The plot gives many oppoturnities and is really nicely maintained to the end of the first half of the movie, after that, the movie just gets too Arnold. This would've been an exceptionally good Arnold-film, if the director hadn't messed it.

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A surprisingly entertaining but still cliche sci-fi shootfest.

10/10
Author: crxbrett from Santa Clarita, CA
29 November 2002

Total Recall was a huge hit back in the summer of 1990 and it still is one of my favorite Arnold movies. I remember talking about it at school after everybody saw it. The directing is very ordinary but is also over-the-top and comical at times. That comes as no surprise since it is the same director who helmed "Robocop" and "Starship Troopers". If you're an Arnold fan then Total Recall will definitely keep you glued to the TV. I consider this movie as one of the last good action flicks that was made prior to 1990 (since it was filmed in 1989). It does not have good acting, but give it a break, hardly any action movies ever do. The music is very good and composed by the great Jerry Goldsmith. The story is average and unbelievably sloppy. I give 'Recall' a 5 for the directing. A 6 for the script. A 5 for the acting. An 8 for the visuals and set designs. And a 9 for the music and sound. Overall, it is a gets a 7.

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One of Arnolds best, I sci-fi masterpiece

Author: Johnson (matthew-johnson@comcast.net) from easton
29 November 2002

When I was 5 my dad got this movie. I begged him to let me watch it but he said no. He eventually hid it somewhere in the house. I found it. I watched it. And I loved it. I did not watch it much after that. I fell in love with it again when I bought the special edition DVD (hey cant go wrong for 14 bucks) The movie was much better now then when I watched as a kid. This in my opinion was better than Robocop because of better Special Effects, Arnold was in it, and a better plot. The plot had plenty of twists and the violence...well its a Paul Verhoeven film so you can expect plenty of violence. This is one of my favorite action/sci-fi movies along with Aliens and T2. If you are any kind of an Arnold fan you must see this movie.

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It's the best mind f*** yet

Author: Rob V A from Canada
25 November 2002

Yes Arnie, yes it is... What can I say? It's an Arnold movie with awesome story and concept, directed by Verhoeven YES!, and has micheal ironside from here (willowdale)!! and ronny cox! as amazing supporting actors. Classic Verhoeven, classic Arnold, this is one of his best, if not his best. Watch it NOW!

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Get Your Ahss to Moz

Author: J. Wellington Peevis from Malltown
15 November 2002

Imaginative but utterly dreadful Schwarzeneger vehicle, with quite possibly the worst script ever written. Perhaps there was simply no money left after the special effects budget to employ a writer, so everyone improvised, or maybe just wrote their own lines? As for the special effects, excellent in their imagination, but like Arnold's one time mysterious box office appeal, Time has rudely passed it by. Much of the set design too seems victim of an expired budget, so that by the last half hour, it watches like a Star Trek episode. From the Kirk era. In fact, it all looks pretty damn silly now. Tron, Logan's Run, etc. And the violence, good gracious! Like most of Verhoeven's action 'work' this movie is obscenely violent, and the inane dialogue strives to set a new record in gratuitous usage of the F word for the F word's sake. I wonder when watching a movie like this, and spotting all of the product placement i.e. Pepsi, Jack In the Box, Lite Beer, what future generations will make of all this? Probably wonder why none of the sex pornography of our generation wasn't likewise sponsored by the consumer product giants. Karl Marx called religion the opiate of the masses, but he didn't live long enough for Hollywood to show him just how wrong he was. For shame!

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Whether it's a dream or reality, it's Ah-nuld's best flick

9/10
Author: Michael V. Metrik from Altoona, PA
13 November 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When Total Recall was released in 1990, I snuck in to see it lying in the trunk of my friend's Pontiac Phoenix. It was my 17th birthday, and for it I received a conundrum: was what I was seeing on the screen what was really happening to the character, or was it simply a manifestation of memory implants that he receives early in the film? Nobody can definitively answer that (and because my review is to be free of spoilers, I shall refrain from delineating my response). But regardless of whether or not the movie is supposed to be real or a dream, it's Schwarzenegger's best work. For one thing, we don't have to suspend disbelief enough to think "sure, the government would hire a 290-pound muscle-bound Austrian to do delicate undercover work" or "sure, he could be an investment banker". Schwarzie's a construction worker. And he can act in this film, which is better written (despite some cornball lines for the villains) than most of his other films. When he acts like an unstoppable hand-to-hand superman at the beginning of the movie, he is shocked and horrified at what he's done. Find me another Arnold movie in which he expresses remorse! The movie has action, suspense, and some themes that inspire discussion long after the movie is over. And although I don't normally care about such things, Rachel Ticotin and Sharon Stone pull off perhaps the best girl-vs-girl fist fight in movie history. I give it a 9, and I'd rate it not only as Schwarzenegger's finest work but also that of Paul Verhoeven.

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bleh

Author: fugu_286 from USA
15 September 2002



this is an almost classic that falls short of the mark. too gory. should have been less gore, more plot. of course, everything the dutchman directed prior to or after the ultimate classic SHOWGIRLS just pales in comparison to SHOWGIRLS. rent the SHOWGIRLS dvd instead, and take a look at jesse spano's goodies.

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My favorite Arnold movie along with Terminator 2.

Author: martymaster (martymaster@hotmail.com) from Fredrikstad; Norway
15 September 2002

This movie has an excellent story and you never really know what is real.It is a big disscusion about if the movie is all a dream or reality.I think that is the great thing about it,because it could be both ways.Great and violent sci-fi/action from Paul Verhoven with Arnold in the leading role.They dont make movies like this anymore.

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Yet another boom-crash fantastic movie from Arnie.

7/10
Author: rooboy84
4 August 2002

Well, what can i say? Total Recall can be a confusing movie but you get the hang of it pretty quick. I don't like it when their heads turn into tomatoes while they are out on the red planet. But other than that, i love it. The special effects are impressive for the year 1990 and there are heaps of cool characters. The movie makes you think if it's real or not which is interesting and intriging.

Total Recall is great to watch any time of the day or night. Of course young kids below 10 would be scared, but if any older it should be fine. A great movie with heaps of action and fun!

9/10

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