IMDb > Total Recall (1990) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
Total Recall
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
Total Recall More at IMDbPro »

Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 4 of 38: [Prev][1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [Next]
Index 374 reviews in total 

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

This motion picture does not follow the underlying short story

7/10
Author: ciprian-7 from Romania
29 December 2005

This motion picture was surely, in my opinion, inspired by short story "Total recall" by Phillip K. Dick. I have read it and I can tell that the movie has only caught up the general idea from there. There is the retold short story:

Douglas Quaid is a simple worker (his wife is his wife, not an undercover agent, as in movie) who is obsessed about going on Mars (because this some time after his wife leaves him for good). Knowing he is a poor man and trying to do something about it, he goes to "Total Recall" , a company for artificial voyages. There he talks with Mc.... (as in movie, appears that names have been taken literally); before he talks to receptionist (we are told she is blonde => white , not black , as in movie). Things goes wrong; he is discovered, under narcosis, as past agent of Interplan (as he wished to be in the dream voyage to be implanted in his memory) and the guys at Total Recall put him in a taxi. He wakes in cab , finds half of money owed for imaginary voyage in his pocket and soon begin to remember what happened at Total Recall; then he asks and get all the money he has payed (of course is angry and frustrated). On way home he starts to remember that he was a real agent; at home 2 armed officers (one of them has a ear device that let him hear Quaid's thoughts; the Interplan had implanted a living creature in Quaid's brain who can transmit thoughts). Douglas Quaid soon increasingly remembers all that happened on Mars and his past training and abilities, officer want to kill him, does not succeed (Quaid already knew how to fight) and Quaid escapes outside. After some conversation in his mind with someone from Interplan (through that living device in his brain), he (catching at his last chance of survival) decides to go to an Interplan facility and let their specialists study him to see if a false memory could be implanted over his yearning wish to go to Mars (if none could be found, he agrees that must be killed); a fantasy dating from his child times is found and they choose that. He is taken to Total Recall to proceed (receptionist is described as having her naked big bosoms dyed in orange) and here , examining his memory , they found that the fantasy (in childhood he saw an alien spaceship landing in front of him, the only who could see them; that ship had beings as big as mice, but bound to conquer Earth; that ship was only first, more thousand will follow; after a discussion with alien beings, they were touched and decided not to invade Earth as long as he lives) was real and Quaid, as he says proudly, is the most important human being on Earth. The short story ends with the advice to the Interplan not to kill him; otherwise the alien invasion would begin, bringing destruction to all Earth civilization.

Was the above review useful to you?

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

great sci-fi adventure

Author: Special-K88
13 September 2002

From director Paul Verhoeven comes this wildly over-the-top futuristic thriller about a construction worker (Schwarzenegger) who discovers that his entire life has been artificially "implanted." Once he realizes who he is, he sets out on a dangerous mission to Mars to try and reclaim his identity while eluding the deadly spies who are in hot pursuit. Dynamite sci-fi action movie has remarkable, mind-blowing special effects, endless and intriguing plot twists, violent, pumped-up action scenes, and more than enough innovative ideas. As a thrill ride it's simply excellent, and arguably one of Arnold's most entertaining films. ***½

Was the above review useful to you?

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Don't look at the man behind the curtain

5/10
Author: Patrick Carr (patrickcarr1@home.com) from Peoria, Il
18 May 2000

This could have been yet another great Philip K. Dick story turned into a movie (Blade Runner). However at the critical moment this movie fails. After doing a good job setting up Quaid's motivation to go to Mars and getting the characters together; the movie does a great job of throwing in a killer plot twist. However it is as this plot twist is being resolved that the movie loses it creditability. Once the Alien air-making machine is put into action realism would dictate that every structure on the planet would be leveled. Just imagine the effect of taking a structure built to handle the near vacuum of the Martian atmosphere and suddenly hitting it with 15 lbs per square inch of weight. The Alien machine, to work properly in the movie would take several weeks to create a Martian atmosphere. And that means that Quaid dies after being sucked out of the airshaft. Even if we look at that scene, think of the incredible damage that would have been done to Quaid's body. He would never be the same. What saddens me is these are small plot points that could have been dealt with properly had the director and screenwriter taken some time to do so. Had they done so, this would be an undeniable instant Sci-Fi classic, instead of a good movie with a hoaky ending.

Was the above review useful to you?

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Awesome experience

10/10
Author: tronrontron from Germany
10 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie has awesome one-liners, memorable scenes, characters you hate or cheer for, wonderful sets and lots of creatively thought out action.

Some points i liked: At the beginning of the movie, the fooling around between Quaid and his fake wife is kind of how it goes in real life. This and other presentations of social interaction is implemented well in Total Recall.

They even had the balls to put things in that movie that require more than meets the eye, like the presentation of the psychics: They certainly don't look like that in real life, but some ways of how they do things are presented. Just an example...

Was the above review useful to you?

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A brilliant script

10/10
Author: rjd0309 from Phoenix
10 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You've gotta admire the scriptwriters, they tailored the script to Arnold's greatest strength, that of destroying everything in his path.

Look closely. Arnold never *creates* anything. The personality implant? Cohaagen had it done. The mask, the money, the guy with the suitcase? Cohaagen again. The resistance? Kuato organized it. The oxygen reactor? Aliens built it.

The script sets up these plot elements like so many dominoes in a row, so that Arnie can come along and knock them down.

Don't like the new implanted personality? Kill the techs at Rekall. Got a smart-aleck robo-cabbie? Rip him off his pedestal and blow up the cab. Benny trying to grind you to a pulp? Perforate the bastard with a drill. Richter being a pain in the ass? Guillotine his arms on an elevator.

No creativity is required of Arnie. Just death and destruction -- what Arnold does best. A brilliant script.

Was the above review useful to you?

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Arnie's seeing red.

9/10
Author: Mr_Censored from Maine
3 July 2009

By the time the 90's rolled around, action films just didn't get any better than Arnold Schwarzenegger. And when it came to sci-fi and action directors, Paul Verhoeven was certainly at the top of his game. Naturally, the two came together for "Total Recall," a unique sci-fi/action-hero story that finds everybody's favorite Austrian on the red planet, battling mutants, struggling with his identity and crusading on behalf of those in need of some clean, breathable and – most importantly – free air.

Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick (whose work has made it to the big screen also in the form of "Minority Report" and "Blade Runner," to name a few), "Total Recall" is a landmark both for its stunning visual effects as well as its non-stop pace and over-the-top action. Arnie is in top form as the everyday man who exchanges routine and security for confusion and paranoia when a vacation company toys with his mind. Rekall, the company in question, will implant a memory – for a price – that will make you think you had an incredible vacation (or in this case, an action-packed adventure that will satisfy all your wildest cravings) when it was all just a pricey dream. Unfortunately, things go very wrong very quickly for our hero. His wife (Sharon Stone) turns against him, as it turns out she is a secret agent who has been spying on him throughout their marriage. In turn, he finds himself being chased by a gang of cronies -- led by Michael Ironside -- to what appears to be his home planet, where he hooks up with an ex-lover (Rachel Ticotin) and makes acquaintances with a three-breasted prostitute, a cab-driver with bad teeth and a really grotesque and unappealing mutant (who can also be seen in the "Aspen" episode of "South Park"). Is it real, is it a dream? What makes this film truly genius and leaves room for many a repeat viewing is that, in the end, it's totally up to the viewer.

Verhoeven throws everything AND the kitchen sink at his film. "Total Recall" is as chock-full of mind-games as it is action, and is possibly the man's finest film to date. Even today, 19 years (!) later, it still holds up, both in its story and in its visuals. Those seeking some escapism but with a film that carries as much brain as it does brawn, can do no wrong with "Total Recall." One of the finest from one of the greatest action heroes of our time and one of the most under-rated directors in his time. Spawned from the film was a short-lived TV series as well as a classic musical parody, titled "Total Recallin'" – set to the tune of Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" -- which can be found on any video-viewing website.

Was the above review useful to you?

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

One of Arnie's Best

8/10
Author: mjw2305 from England
5 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Total Recall, is a fine film and must rank highly for every Arnie Fan. With more story to chew on than a lot of Arnie flicks, this film is a lot more than your average action movie.

Quaid (Schwarzenegger) takes a trip to Recall, where you can have a holiday implanted in your mind, and take a vacation from yourself too. When Quaid asks for holiday on Mars as a Secret agent, he begins a psychotic episode before the trip is implanted, and it turns out he really is a secret agent and he is involved in a major conspiracy and has had his memory erased. Or at least that's how it appears?

The great thing about the film is it lets you decide for yourself if it really was a dream, or was Quaid really there?

8/10

Was the above review useful to you?

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

" See you at the party Richter".

8/10
Author: Stephen Bailey (diana@bailey6770.fsnet.co.uk) from Lincoln England
10 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't think Hollywood has ever made a movie with a more confusing plot. How come nuclear weapons haven't destroyed Earth in this on-going World War 3? Why is Richter trying to kill Quaid? Why does Cohagen care so much about "air" when he's making shed-loads of money from exporting Trabidium? Who governs "the northern block"? Is the film real, or is Quaid simply on his ego-trip? That and many more. But none of this matters. The film is hugely entertaining and the enthusiasm of the cast + the black humour cover over all the plot holes. I'd say that next to T2 and Kindergarten Cop this is Arnie's third best movie, he was excellent in the role of a man who doesn't know what the hell's going on, except that he has to keep moving. Ronny Cox and Michael Ironside were delicious as the lead villains & I'm STILL whistling the tune whistled by the JohnnyCab robot taxi driver. Ray Baker is also great in a minor role as Bob McClane, a high-pressure holiday salesman. My only real criticism is Sharon Stone. Her acting in this film is frankly not very good. That aside, it's wonderful. "See you at the party Richter" is my favourite of ALL Schwarzenegger's movie lines, but you'll have to watch Total Recall almost to the end to see why. 8 out of 10,I loved it.

Was the above review useful to you?

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

One of Arnie's genuine best performances ever.

9/10
Author: Michael DeZubiria (wppispam2013@gmail.com) from Luoyang, China
9 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I remember when I was about 12 years old I used to watch this movie a lot and it had a strange effect on me because it is so bizarre and so violent, but I couldn't tear my eyes away. Also, that woman with three boobs was enough for me to sit through the rest of the movie just to see again!

It takes place in a dismal future where colonies have long since arisen and decayed on other planets and mutations are as rampant as corruption. Schwarzenegger plays a construction worker named Douglas Quaid who has recurring dreams about a trip to Mars and a mysterious brunette there. His hottie wife (Sharon Stone) is unimpressed by this brunette who keeps turning up in her husband's dreams, but mostly he just can't get over this strange need to go to Mars.

I have to say, however, that based on his dream, which we see at the beginning of the movie in which he falls down a hill and breaks his face mask and then his eyes pop out of his head, doesn't exactly seem like the kind of thing that would make me want to go to that place, but no matter.

The movie really gets going as soon as Quaid goes to a company called Rekall that sells implanted memories, so basically you can travel anywhere you want to go in the world and be anyone you want. There's no danger because you never leave the Rekall offices, but there's always the chance of an accidental lobotomy.

Almost immediately after hooking him up to their machines, he wakes up a completely different person, convinced that he is no longer a happily married construction worker but a secret agent on the run from an evil dictator of Mars named Cohaagen.

At this point all hell breaks loose and the movie gets really good. It's a little confusing, but for the thickness of the plot it's amazing how well presented it is. Quaid is suddenly unsure who he really is, and when at one point he is receiving instructions from his other self, the self on the other side of the Rekall implantation, about how to remove a tracking device from his nose (in one of the movie's most memorable moments), it doesn't make things any easier for him to understand.

There are tons of great characters, impressive sets, amazing special effects and brilliant performances despite the occasional cheese moment (such as that bizarre mutant at the end chanting "Open your miiiiiind….." over and over). Read Volume 2 of my 50 Amazing Movie Facts on Hollywire and you'll know what I really mean.

The movie has the same brutal feeling as RoboCop, and director Paul Verhoeven has really shown that he knows how to do action sci-fi. This is definitely one of the genre's best!

Was the above review useful to you?

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

"If I'm not me then who the hell am I?" As already mentioned, definitely one of Arnie's best.

8/10
Author: Paul Andrews (poolandrews@hotmail.com) from UK
21 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Total Recall is set in the future where interplanetary space travel is a reality, on Earth lowly construction worker Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has strange dreams involving Mars & decides to go to a company called Rekall who implant virtual memories of holidays in peoples minds. Doug ask's for a complete set of memories for a trip to Mars, the implant goes wrong & Doug has a violent reaction. The guy's at Rekall put him in a cab & send him away, then Doug's day goes from bad to worse when his friend from work tries to kill him, his wife (Sharon Stone) tries to kill him too & he learns that the evil ruler of Mars Vilos Cohaagen (Ronny Cox) has wiped his memory & dumped him on Earth. As Doug struggles to discover his own identity he is thrown into a war between Cohaagen & rebel terrorists on Mars as people try to kill him left, right & center, but which side is he working for & why...

Directed by Paul Verhoeven I'll get straight to the point & say that I think Total Recall is a brilliant sci-fi actioner & easily one of Schwarzenegger's best films. The script by Ronald Shusett, Dan O'Bannon & Gary Goldman was based on the short story 'We Can Remember it For You Wholesale' by famed sci-fi writer Philip K.Dick is a surprisingly intelligent & thoughtful sci-fi story with all the bangs, shoot-outs & violence associated with director Verhoeven & star Schwarzenegger which complement each other better than one might expect. The film moves along at a nice pace, it's never boring & the story is intricate & complex enough to keep you alert & concentrating, this is far from the by-the-numbers one man army action flick that Schwarzenegger is known for. The film manages to keep you guessing, it's well written enough to have several potential outcomes & it manages to make yourself doubt whether what's happening is real or just a complete dream. Of course this being an action flick there's plenty of it & Total Recall is also a very violent film, this is the type of 90's flick where it is necessary to use excessive force & gory violence at all times. The character's are interesting, the dialogue is good with some typical Schwarzenegger one liners like saying 'consider that a divorce' after shooting his wife in the head! I don't know what else to say really, Total Recall is just a great film with loads of violence, nudity, fights, memorable villains & a surprisingly good sci-fi plot that you need to see for yourself.

Apparently David Cronenberg was originally set to direct but eventual director Verhoeven does a fine job here, he is his usual uncompromising self as Total Recall is packed full of gore, mutant freak hookers, midget hookers, nudity & general excess. He doesn't know the meaning of the word subtle & that's just another reason why I love Total Recall so much. The special effects are very impressive, from expansive shots of the Martian landscape to huge reactors under the surface of Mars this looks good even now. The Jonnycab scenes are hilarious, the futuristic vision created here seems plausible & as such the film hasn't dated at all although if I was being picky why weren't the glass used for domes on Mars bullet proof & where were the security services as Quaid & Victor shoot at each other in the subway? What happened to the guy's behind the desk watching the X-ray machine? They had guns, where did they go? In the mid 80's the story which Total Recall was based upon was brought by Italian hack producer Dino de Laurentiis, he tried to make the film starring Patrick Swayze & directed by Bruce Beresford & sets were actually built in Australia but the shoot was cancelled when de Laurentiis' company went bankrupt & that's when Schwarzenegger stepped in & convinced the brass at Carolco to buy the script & let him star.

With a supposed budget of about $65,000,000 Total Recall looks the business, it's sets, special effects, production design, rousing music by Jerry Goldsmith are all top notch although Rob Bottin's special make-up effects are strangely average & don't bear close scrutiny. Shot in Mexico all of the cast & crew went down with food poisoning expect Schwarzenegger who had his food specially flown in from the US... The acting is pretty good, Schwarzenegger is OK, Sharon Stone looks nice while Ronny Cox & Michael Ironside play their bad guy roles with relish.

Total Recall is just a totally fantastic film, it's more than just an Arnie shoot-em-up, it has neat sci-fi ideas behind it, plenty of excess violence & is just a great film. Definitely recommended. Followed by the TV series Total Recall 2070 (1999) which ran for 22 episodes.

Was the above review useful to you?


Page 4 of 38: [Prev][1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [Next]

Add another review


Related Links

Plot summary Plot synopsis Ratings
Awards Newsgroup reviews External reviews
Parents Guide Official site Plot keywords
Main details Your user reviews Your vote history