Posted on June 24, 2012
Movie Review: Total Recall (1990)
“Is this your first trip…well don’t worry things hardly ever fuck up around here”
4 out of 5 stars
“No wonder you’re having nightmares, you’re always watching the news”
This post is for the LAMB Acting School 101: Arnold Schwarzenegger. When I thought of Arnold Total Recall instantly came to mind. The remake starring Colin Farrell is being released in August so it’s fresh in my mind. My sister remarked, “well what sucks is that we already know the ending”.
That’s when I realized that I hadn’t watched the film in years. In fact when I dug out my VHS (yes, I still buy them at the flea market sometimes, that’s me with the quarters, jealous?) I wasn’t sure I’d ever watched the entire movie all of the way through. I was young when it came out, with a short attention span. I’m now pretty sure I’d only watched 20 minutes of it here and there before a commercial came on some cable station and I said fuck it.
While my sister has probably seen every Schwarzenegger flick a half dozen times over I’m not as familiar with his ouvrir. So, I thought, why not give the original a spin?
“…you ever fuck a mutant…”
“…I have to hand it to you, that’s the best mind fuck yet”
The consensus? I totally dug it. I realized when I saw Paul Verhoeven’s name show up on screen and what could be considered completely unnecessary cursing that this is a flick for me. In case you are unaware, Verhoeven is also the visionary director behind my all time favorite movie Showgirls. BTW-The amazing Dan O’Bannon was a writer on the film.
If you haven’t seen Total Recall let’s put it this way, it’s set in one of my favorite sci-fi genres, the paleofuturistic style flick (meaning an envisioned future that never came to pass). Plus it’s dystopian, you really can’t beat that combo.
Arnie is a construction worker with a beautiful wife (Sharon Stone) and the ammenities of modern life. However he feels strongly drawn to Mars. You see in this future Mars has been colonized. However on Earth people don’t really know what is going down there. They just know that it’s considered dangerous.
At the same time Earth’s inhabitants are bombarded with ads from a company called Rekall. Rekall will implant a memory in your mind. This way you can take an awesome trip and really feel like you went there for less than the price of the actual trip. Plus there’s supposedly a lot less risk involved, except you know, they are fucking with your brain.
Arnie mentions his desire to visit Rekall to a friend who tries to warn him that it’s a bad idea. You could get lebotomized or something. At Rekall they try to talk him into a stress free trip but his heart is set on Mars. He dreams of Mars. He feels like he’s already been there.
His memory implant involves being a secret agent and dating a brunette (his wife is blonde, he needs the variety). So when everything seemingly goes to shit and they can’t implant him because the techs say he’s been wiped before you’re never really sure what’s around the corner, just like Arnie.
As they tell him, if that’s the fantasy you asked for then what’s the chance that’s your real life and this mission to help the mutants of Mars is true?
So what is the outcome?
Watch and find out.
You may also enjoy:
Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Showgirls
Movie Review: ZPG Zero Population Growth
3 Films Starring Samantha Morton-also for LAMB & includes Minority Report
Movie Review: Starcrossed With James Spader-in case you dig B movie alien romcoms