Directed by: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Ironside, Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, Rachel Ticotin, Marshall Bell
With the remake of this film set for release this weekend, it’s only fitting that we make a short recollection of the 90’s sci-fi brought to you by none other than Paul Verhoeven (Robocop, Starship Troopers).
Now if you’re unfamiliar with this movie, Total Recall centers around a factory worker, discontent with his life and seeking a new thrill which leads him to Recall, a company that provides its clientele with fake memories. It is there that he discovers that he may in fact be a spy and has his world flipped upside down and goes on the run as he tries to discover just who he really is.
Total Recall is based off a Philip K. Dick short story and so the film obviously expands on its source material as evidenced by the inclusion of Mars. The film itself is laced with the usual campy and satirical style of Paul Verhoeven, with the added bonus of having Arnold Schwarzenegger star in the film. That fact alone is a clear indication of just how serious this film aims to be, but that isn’t to say this movie is a complete loss. On the contrary, the movie works within its own element and manages to be completely entertaining the entire way through.
My only problem is that the core elements and themes of the short story are overshadowed by the need to turn this film into an action movie. Though entertaining with a stellar cast of villains that includes Ronny Cox and Michael Ironside, it just isn’t enough to make this more than an above average action movie. The visual effects still hold up to this date, and the best thing about this movie turned out to be the hilarious audio commentary on the DVD release of the movie, which I highly recommend for a good laugh.
Overall, Total Recall stands as a solid, but extremely flawed action sci-fi movie.
GO Rating: 3/5