Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, Michael
Ironside, Marshall Bell
1990, 108 Minutes, Directed by: Paul Verhoeven
Verhoeven does his Robocop ultra-violence thing again, this
time with action supremo Arnold Schwarzenegger. The story may be only vaguely based on a
short story by Philip K. Dick called We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, but the
fooling around with reality and paranoia is pure, um, Dick.
The story involves a
construction worker who becomes convinced that he is actually a spy and sets out to save
Martian colonists from an evil multinational corporation.
Well, actually there's more to
it as the plot veers from one surprise and twist to the next about every ten minutes or
so. Is he really a spy or is everything happening to him just a product of the memory
implants of a firm which sells you memories of a vacation instead of the real thing? And
Verhoeven keeps the whole thing chugging along neatly with a huge dollop of ultra-violence and gore. Schwarzenegger is at his best ever: in one scene he shoots his
wife (?) who has turned out to be an enemy agent all the time through the head, stating
nonchalantly "Consider this a divorce."
it back then that this was one of the most expensive movies ever made, although exact figures were never
revealed. If it is, not everything is on the big screen. While the special
effects are very well-done and clever, it doesn't count as one of the
most spectacular films ever made. This is perhaps because of Verhoeven
choosing a neo-Aztec/Albert Speer type of look for the future. Very interesting
- but not spectacular in let's say the way Blade Runner was.
Total Recall's screenplay was knocked
around Hollywood for decade or so. At one point it was due to be filmed
by a subdivision of Disney with Richard Dreyfuss in the leading role -
which just illustrates how many rewrites this film has undergone!
Top 100 Sci-Fi
of all time