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Total Recall More at IMDbPro »

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What I recall of the movie

Author: cinematic_aficionado ( from London, England
6 December 2003

Total recall is a typical sci-fi movie packed with action and of course Arnie. I could just say a typical Arnie movie however there is some plot in there which will keep you interested throughout, and Sharon Stone does well too. Overall a good movie to watch on a Sunday night with a takeaway.

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One 'total' movie

Author: swipht1
1 November 2003

This was a very cool movie. The special effects must have been spectacular for the time. The plot was very rich, with many twists and turns in the story. I enjoyed myself quite a bit. Big, bad fun from Arnold Schwarzenegger. 8 out of 10.

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Action-filled sci-fi thinker

Author: Elswet from .: Fiendish Writings in the Dark :.
6 October 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In my honest opinion, this is the most intellectual of Arnold Schwarzenegger's movies.

The screenplay and plot lines are so well written, coherent, imaginative and complex and cohesive. The performances of these stellar actors are absolutely professional, quality and believably portrayed.


While his wife teasingly steers him clear of his obsession, Doug Quaid is obsessed with Mars and Earth's colonization of the Red Planet. In an attempt to realize his obsession without damaging his marriage, he goes to the much-touted "Recall," a memory implants vacation team to have at least the memory of having been to Mars.

But something goes wrong, and before they can implant the "secret agent" portion of his mental "vacation," they hit a memory cap which was already installed by an anonymous governmental bureau known only as "the agency." He freaks and begins screaming at the techies, "YOU BLEW MY COVER!!"


From that point on, the action does not stop. But this is not your typical Schwarzenegger fare. This action is underlined and surrounded by intelligence, thoughtfulness and a main plot riddled with complicated sub-plots which are cleverly written and beautifully executed. The sets are creatively designed, the scenes are wonderfully constructed, and the landscapes of Mars are pure sci-fi/effects genius. The visual effects are some of the best I've ever seen ANYwhere, and the finished product leaves you feeling more enlightened and thoroughly entertained.

For these reasons I say, this is one of the best of AS's movies. It tops T1 & T2. These three, are his absolute best in the genre of sci-fi/action. A definite "Must See," even if you are a fan of sci-fi alone and do not really care about the Schwarzenegger element.

As a PS, I would like to add that the Special Edition DVD version of this movie is much more enjoyable with advanced digital sound, remastered Widescreen visuals and a commentary with AS and the director Paul Verhoeven. There is also a behind the scenes special that shows you why this movie won the Academy Awards for special achievement in visual effects.

It rates a 9.1/10 from...

the Fiend :.

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oh yeah!!

Author: wingchun_al from Ireland
12 September 2003

sorry, but if you dismiss this movie because it is too violent (as many people seem to do) then you are missing out on an excellent film. the story is what sci fi should be - thought provoking and unique - not just a story that takes place in the future - but could really happen at any time. arnie always gets slagged for his, "bad" acting but this is just a fashionable thing for high brow film fans to say. he gets the job done - even though english isn't his first language. how many american hollywood actors can act in a different language? not too many i'd bet.

in fact - all the performances are very good. ironside is the ultimate henchman - his portrayal is stone cold. ronny cox also returns from verhoevens previous film - robocop - to play a similar role. i also love that taxi driver on mars - he was kinda funny. the much hated/loved action is nicely choreographed - and very bloody.

all in all, an excellent movie. don't dismiss it because it has action/violence/arnie/whatever.

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among Verhoeven's best North American films

Author: rdoyle29 from Winnipeg, Canada
31 August 2003

Total Recall revels in the state-of-the-art special effects and frantic violence characteristic of most of director Paul Verhoeven's American productions. Though based on a story by Philip K. Dick, Total Recall is more of an action movie than a philosophical rumination on identity. Still, the film gets a lot of mileage out of the questionable notion that "you are what you remember." The screenplay was finally credited to seven screenwriters; it had bounced around Hollywood for a number of years with different directors and stars before it reached Verhoeven. The director's brand of high-octane, cartoonish, violence is a good fit with the material, though his style may have been better-suited to 1988's more satiric Robocop. The movie received a special-achievement Academy Award for its impressive effects.

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Author: BigTimeMovieFan ( from St. Paul, MN USA
21 August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The big debate about "Total Recall" is whether or not everything after the trip to "Rekall" is real, or a hallucination. Well, if you watched the movie closely, you already suspected the truth: Everything after Rekall IS a dream.

When Ah-nold is getting ready for his "Ego-Trip", you hear a tech in the background say "Hey, that's sky on Mars." At the end of the movie, when the frozen oxygen core of Mars (Huh?) is thawed to create an atmosphere, the sky is blue. (Quite a trick, considering that it's the NITROGEN in our atmosphere that gives our sky its blue color.)

Also, when the "girl" program is loaded (athletic, brunette, sleazy, and demure), the screen briefly shows us a full-face shot of...Rachel Ticotin! As Arnie says later in the movie, "She's real! I dreamed of her before!" So the computer at Rekall picked up her image from the dream that opened the movie, and implanted it in Arnie's Ego Trip.

Those are the little clues, to say nothing of the description that the Rekall salesman gives about bad guys, mutants, aliens, and all that stuff. The Big Clue, the one that tells you it's all a dream, comes at the very end. Instead of fading to black, the screen fades to white. As Verhoven explains on the commentary track, this is Quaid (Arnie) getting lobotomized, just as the Rekall technician predicted.

All right, now that I've established that I'm a TOTAL movie geek, let me just say that I liked the movie. Somewhat. It was no "Star Wars" and it certainly wasn't "Alien", or "Blade Runner". But it was OK. The jokes were good, especially the babe with the three hooties. (A sly nod to "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", which gave us Eccentricia Gallumbits, the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon 6.) I also loved Arnie's line "Relax, you'll live longer." I've used that one many times, and it comes in handier than "I'll be back."

It's not Verhoven's best, but give it a try. At least it's better than "Showgirls".

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could have been better, but not that bad.

Author: Wired_Desire from Dallas, TX
10 August 2003

For the most part, it was a good movie. there were a couple unneeded scenes, and at times the dialoge was cheesy. Paul Verhoven has directed a couple other science fiction flicks, and generally ruined them. I seen this movie for the first time last summer, and was actually surprised, i was expecting a stinker.

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Totally Wicked!

Author: Arazmataz from Uk
4 August 2003

ha, i only write nice reviews!! Um, i love Arnie movies, even if his character seems the same in every movie, Ben Richards is a grrrreat person for him to be playing. i saw this movie when i was a young un, and i have loved it since....maybe i just like 80's styled movies! I dont like action movies really, and this is the epitome of, but its so watchable! The thought that the American Government would do something like this has been in my mind since i read Armagedon the musical by Robert Rankin, and i liked this movie just because it was so anti-police!!! In the great words of NWA! This movie is wicked and worth watching for the cocky come backs, Arnie bein wicked hXc and the 80's dancin, i mean honestly! Yeah, Who do love and who loves you? yes Yes YES!

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A cinemagoing experience - and then some.....

Author: templer_doom (
20 July 2003

There are occasions when you go and see a movie with an audience in a cinema that the true power of collective enjoyment really comes across.

TOTAL RECALL is one of those moments. I saw it four times within a month of it's release in the UK and lapped up not only the movie, but also the reaction of those around at key moments.

I regarded it at the time as the best sci-fi thriller since ALIENS and felt it was more enjoyable than the likes of THE ROAD WARRIOR, ROBOCOP and TERMINATOR. However, in recent years, my opinion has shifted to respect all the said films a bit more in terms of what they offer and all are excellent in their own right, maintaining the conventions of storytelling whilst creating new twists in their own contexts.

TOTAL RECALL is a movie that had to be made. After years of lagging in development hell in a number of sources, it is also one of two films that the now-defunct Carolco successfully brought to the screen with spectacular fashion from that place (T2 being the other one) I seriously doubt whether David Cronenberg's more urban version of Shusett's adaptation of Philip K Dick's WE CAN REMEMBER IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE would have worked and indeed I would have expected something a bit more bizarre. In fact, I feel that Cronenberg covered that territory well in VIDEODROME.

It is also sad that Sharon Stone never really managed to do as well after BASIC INSTINCT and this film, as this is her best showcase and for all the discussion about 'the scene' in BASIC INSTINCT, I actually thought she was sexier semi-clothed in TOTAL RECALL. Rachel Ticotin (who I first saw in FORT APACHE: THE BRONX) was the perfect contrast to Arnie's hero Quaid.

The action is superb and is punctuated with director Paul Verhoeven's signature style (inspired by his experiences as a child in WWII!) of violence and unlike some of today's film, the visual effects don't overshadow the story or performances. No need to give away anything, just enjoy it on it's own terms.

Another of my choices of films of the 90s!!

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Misleading movie

Author: rabani ( from Coventry England
21 June 2003

At first it seems like its going to be a brilliant suspensful sci fi mystery and the movie is exciting. When Quaid gets his ass to mars from then on the movie loses its plot and it goes down hill so it gets boring and tasteless and obviously predictable. Arnie looks serious and stone faced. (he usually does) i must stress the fight scene in the alley involving Harry and his goons is is great and well performed and sexy Sharon Stones peformance is dynamic.

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