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Future perfect

Author: Regperrin69 from United Kingdom
9 April 2014

IMDb is full of people dishing out ratings with no care or attention. But if ever a film tempted me to give it full marks, it's total recall.

As with all Paul Verhoven's sci-fi films, total recall still looks futuristic, and always will.

The music is pitch perfect, the casting immaculate, the settings, the dialogue. And Arnie fits into this role more sweetly than any other, even that other one he does, where he's a robot.

A great story full of ultra violence, twists, multi mammaric women, mutants and more. My Nan would often say 'they'd tax the air you breathe if they could' and Cohaagen made that dream true. He must be the envy of every politician.

Quotable sound bites, indelible images, and the most fictionally realised vision of Mars imaginable.

Nothing in the film is beyond the realm of possibility, an amazing achievement for a sci fi film set largely on another planet.

I just cannot believe how much I love this film.

Only two negatives, why did it lead Paul to make showgirls? And maybe if it hadn't been so good, it wouldn't have given some twonk the idea to cash in on its reputation with a remake, which I haven't seen as I'm so offended that anyone thought a remake necessary

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Total fun

Author: sgtking from United States
15 July 2013

Sometimes we just need to get away from it all. Problems with the wife? Have a job that stresses you out? The best medicine for that is supposed to be a vacation. But what if you could go on a perfect vacation? One where you do exactly what you wanted, go where you wanted and even be who wanted. Sounds appealing, but for the lead in this film it turns out to be a nightmare. Bad news for Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger), great movie fun for us.

Pros: Solid performances across the board. Steady direction. Awesome score. Spectacular effects. Grand production design. Some hilarious bits. Plenty of action. Amazing stunt work. Fast paced from start to finish. Some nice twists and turns.

Cons: Some things make the film look dated. The hairstyles on some of the women for one.

Final thoughts: There aren't many directors who can blend smarts and action so well. Paul Verhoeven is one of the few who has this ability. He proved it in 'Robocop' and does so again here. Sure, films of this ilk today look even prettier and are louder, but they often lack a good core. This film has fabulous effects and action up the wazoo, but there's also a good story and performances. Plug yourself into this one and enjoy the ride.

My rating: 5/5

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Love the cheesy goodness

Author: tay-sedai from Perth, Australia
21 May 2013

This movie came out in 1990, when I was 10. Or I might have been 9, depending on what time of year it was. I don't now if i saw it at the movies or if we waited till it was on video (yeah, VIDEO back then), but either way I loved this movie from the first moment I saw it.

I am actually quite a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger as an actor, even if some people think he's not all that talented. I think it's because a lot of his best-known movies are straight out of my childhood and teen years, so he gave me a lot of entertainment back in the day! Total Recall is definitely one of my favourites. It never fails to make me laugh when I re-watch it, and I love the concept as well. The film focuses on some interesting notions, i.e. human memory and what might happen in a world where you can buy false memories. The story makes you wonder what was real and what wasn't. So, all in all I find it a thought-provoking movie as well as being cheesy and silly.

I don't see it as the most genius film of all time, so I'm only giving it an 8 - particularly as I don't re-watch it THAT often, whereas there are other movies I will re-watch at least every 6 months. But it's in my DVD collection and it's there to stay!

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"If I am not me, then who the hell am I?"

Author: Michael Gomez from Australia
28 February 2011

In a time when interplanetary travel is common, one man yearns for better things. Douglas Quaid (Arnold Scwarzenneger), discontent with his life, dreams of vacationing to Mars. When an opportunity for a virtual vacation presents itself, Quaid visits Rekall Inc. for a memory implant. But during the procedure Quaid is plagued by memories of another life and heads to mars to try to unravel a forgotten past.

When David Cronenberg passed on the project, director Paul Verhoeven, of 'Robocop' fame came to the rescue. And although I will always wonder what the talented Mr. Cronenberg would have pieced together, I think Verhoeven deserves credit for taking on the challenge. The film's look is a trademark of Verhoevens and doesn't shy away from being loud in appearance.

The film was adapted from Philip K. Dick's 'We Can Remember It For You Wholesale' and poses a question to the audience about whether the events after the memory implant are real or not. Undertones of corruption pull the movie along, but Verhoeven's execution of these issues is done with little care.

Direction: 7/10 (Verhoeven's anti-subtle imagery and erotica influences drive this film) Cinematography: 8/10 (Jost Vocano's improves Verhoeven's excessive influences) Editing: 9/10 (Puente & Urioste make the right choices here, especially in the Johhny cab scenes) Acting: 6/10 (It's Arnie & Stone. What did you expect? Michael Ironside does most of the work here) Dialogue: 5/10 (Too many hands spoiled this broth. Not awful, just disappointing it didn't turn out) Sound: 10/10 (I was impressed for a film made in 1990. This almost makes up for the dialogue) Effects: 10/10 (It didn't get a 'Special Achievement Award' for nothing. An Oscar well deserved) Art Direction: 8/10 (Verhoeven favourite James E. Tocci is called again to help the director) Costumes: 7/10 (Erica Edell Phillips gives the characters another subtle dimension) Music and/or Score: 7/10 (The music department provided a tasteful Sci-Fi feel to the film)

Total Score: 77/100

For a film with plenty of action, explosive sounds and visual effects it still delivers an entertaining experience. But don't be fooled – this film is not for anyone. Best suited for Sci-Fi aficionados and 80s action film buffs. Memorable moments included.

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Post-modern Hegemony

Author: bradleyadita from Chicago, IL
23 November 2007

Total Recall recounts a dystopian future in which a common man has the choice to lead his own destiny or become a pawn for an interplanetary mega-corporation. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Hauser, a man who is working for an extra-terrestrial mining company which maintains a monopoly on air needed by the population living and working on their main mining base on Mars. The company has employed Hauser in a hunt to find Kuato, the leader of a rebellion against the company. In his search for the rebel leader, Hauser switches sides and begins to help the rebellion. When this happens, the company's lead Mars administrator, Vilos Cohaagen, captures Hauser and uses "Rekall" brand technology to erase and re-programs his memory. In doing so, Cohaagen seeks to eliminate Hauser from further aiding the rebels, and possibly gain an advantage - should Hauser become aware of his former memories and trace his way back to Kuato.

The film begins in a dream turned nightmare in which Schwarzenegger and his former female companion on Mars, Melina (Rachel Ticotin), have an accident while exploring Martian terrain. Awaking from this nightmare, Schwarzenegger is now Douglas Quaid, (an identity created by Cohaagen's Rekall technicians), now living on Earth with a house, a construction job, and Lori: his hot blonde wife (Sharon Stone). Things seem hunky-dory for Quaid until he begins piecing together clues leading to his former life on Mars as Hauser.

Paul Verhoeven's direction of a script influenced by Philip K. Dick's sci-fi short story is both visually exciting and challenging. In 1990, the producers found this match to be demanding enough to break previous film budget production records. The budget was well spent on creating the film's appearance of new architectural brutalism, future technologies, and on costuming and special effects. The portrayal of the mutant Martian population added a grotesque flourish to the already action-packed science-fantasy.

Total Recall is less a classic film for the ages than it is indicative of cutting-edge modernism of the late 80s and early 90s. The main philosophical components deal with meta-cognition (thinking about thought), reality, dream states, control, and flexibility vs. conservatism. It also speaks to concerns about new technology and the old fear of its use by the wrong people. The final sequence boils down to a fight between the corporation and rebels as a conflict over whether the Martian population will be able to "breathe free" or only with the consent of and payment to the company.

But the conflict seems to conceal another issue, that being the unfettered expansion humans beyond Earth. This encapsulates post-modern hegemony; both the rebel's trust in alien technology to safely deliver a fresh breath of air (who can really complain if a few windows are broken in the process) and the corporation's conservative stance to restrict the atmosphere are risks to the human condition and neither can be acted upon with the total participation of all those effected. In summation, the creation of a Martian atmosphere is a triumph over the corporation for the moment, but in the long run how will this prevent Mars from being overrun by the very same corporations which were defeated in the film's finale. The answer to this may lay in the film which was developed as a sequel to Total Recall, Minority Report (2002), which saw psychic-clairvoyant Martian mutants employed to help detect and fight crime before it even took place, a film which did not continue the trajectory of Hauser and Melina. Even though Hauser was able to set the Martian atmosphere free, it seems the possibilities for continuing his adventure had been exhausted.

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Was It All Just a Dream?

Author: ( from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
27 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Total Recall" is an expensive futuristic Sci-fi film in which Arnold Schwarzeneggar saves Mars.

The story opens Douglas Quaid (Arnold) dreaming of walking hand in hand with a mysterious brunette (Rachel Ticotin) on Mars and then waking beside his wife Lori (Sharon Stone). Quaid has a desire to move to Mars but Lori is against it. Stuch in a menial construction job (you know that that's not going to last), Quaid is lured by an advertisement of a virtual holiday on Mars from a company known as Recall.

Quaid chooses to experience his "vacation" as a super spy with all of the inherent dangers. Then all hell breaks loose. The virtual machine malfunctions and Quaid suddenly finds himself pursued by unknown assailants. It seems that Quaid may have had his memory erased and that Lori isn't really his wife but an enemy agent.

Anyway, he manages to get to Mars where he discovers that his main adversaries are Cohaagen (Ronny Cox), who controls the settlement, its air and its wealth and his chief henchman Richter (Michael Ironside). He also discovers "the girl of his dreams", Melina (Ticotin) who seems to remember him as someone called Hauser. It seems that "Hauser" still holds some valuable information in his scrambled brain.

After dispatching half the population, Arnold brings the villains to justice and all live happily ever after....or do they?

Director Paul Verhoeven gives us plenty of action, great looking set pieces and plenty of extras for Arnold and company to mow down. The fight between Stone and Ticotin is a highlight as well as, the part where Stone kicks the crap out of Arnold. Verhoevan also leaves it to the viewer to decide whether the story was real or did Arnold actually have his virtual vacation.

Exciting science fiction.

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Review By starwarskid 1992

Author: starwarskid1992 from United States
6 May 2007

"Get you ass to Mars"-Quaid The Oak is at it again as a man who can't remember his past while trying to save the galaxy in this thrilling adventure. His friends keep telling him he's a agent working for an evil man, but he can't remember. He then goes to Mars to uncover the truth and save the planet. All because he wanted a virtual vacation.

Total Recall was another successful Schwarzenegger film and was a warm-up for Terminator 2. The action scenes are great, a usual, including a shoot-out with holograms. Ronny Cox and Michael Ironside were also great as the villains.

I give it a 5 out of 5

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Very thrilling&awesome movie for true Philip K. Dick fans

Author: nidzadzoni from Serbia and Montenegro
27 April 2007

I simply adore this movie. I've seen it for at least twenty times. It's probably one of the best sci-fi movies ever and the reason for this, is not just cool action sequences, but also a vast show for admiration of Dick's work by director Paul Verhoeven. This movie, Blade Runner and also Screamers have me interested in science fiction; forced me to find some other Dick's novels and read them, like "Flow my tears, the policeman said" (which is one great novel by the way-If you like this movie you should read it). Very important thing to me is that this film has many details and layers yet to discover, which is in fact the case with most of Dick's novels. Also it is very notable that makers of this film see a very grim future ( like a writer himself as I mentioned it at the beginning of my comment) where mankind is still divided in two blocks (Northern-Southern) like during the Cold War and fighting for resources instead of sharing them. Bottom line 10 is for brilliant story, directing, cool effects

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See you at the party, Richter

Author: sveknu
15 February 2007

Total Recall is one of the (many) Arnold-classics out there. It's pure entertainment from beginning to end. The plot is in fact really interesting, it's one of the better of Arnold's movies when it comes to that. The whole movie is a bit cartoonish, but that makes it just even more fun. There are lots of funny moments, including several of the best one-liners coming from Arnold ever ("Consider this a divorce"). Great action is present too, by the way. Most of the time, sci-fi tends to mess up action movies, but here they did a great job mixing action and science-fiction in a perfect manner. I'll recommend this movie to both action and sci-fi fans. Don't expect a movie like "The Matrix" or "Star Wars", though. It's much more funny than that.

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Total recall works for me.

Author: brentfriedman00 from United States
19 January 2007

Humungous 'Total Recall' fan. Remember the drop of sweat?

Despite the fact that the movie is now a bit dated, the special effects remain stunning. Many have claimed that "Total Recall" is best movie of it's type.

As for action, it can't be beat. Lots of creatures and lots of firepower give a gung-ho movie fan what he/she wants. The acting is convincing, the technology is amazing, and the explosion of the reactor with Arnold is awesome! The only detractor from this movie is "Minority Report", which takes most of "Recall's" great characters and flushes them right down the toilet. Anyway, "Total Recall" is a great movie in it's own right and deserves credit for that. Thank you.

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