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Total Recall  (1990)


IMDB Rating 7.5/10  113 min - Rated 18 Sci-Fi | Adventure

Stars:            Arnold Schwarzenegger,  Sharon Stone        Director:      Paul Verhoeven

In the future, Douglas Quaid (Schwarzenegger) is a construction worker who dreams of visiting Mars. When he decides to have a holiday implanted directly into his brain by a specialist company, a whole host of memories start to resurface and he must follow a series of clues while evading various attempts on his life.  Familiar territory for author Philip K. Dick, (confused realities, ambiguous personalities, flawed technology), and director Verhoeven, (twisty plot, fascist society), Total Recall is a successful combination of the two men's talents, just as much intelligent mystery thriller as it is crowd pleasing blockbuster.  Providing Schwarzenegger with one of the best and most demanding roles he's ever had, requiring a performance ranging in emotion and character due to Quaid's multiple personality, is a pretty risky move. He pulls it off just fine, but this being a Verhoeven movie, everything is painted with huge, fat brush strokes and subtle performances don't feature on the palette. In fact, subtlety has been dispensed with in all areas, allowing for a refreshingly simple and honest movie within a genre that has produced more than its fair share of pretentious films. At one point, cartoonish arch villain Cohaagen actually says, `I'll blow this place up and be home in time for corn flakes!' You don't get one-liners like that in Alien.  To be fair, it's not exactly a dumb movie. The plot requires some concentration and Verhoeven does spoon in some political opinion, but, as with his other work, (most notably RoboCop and Starship Troopers) there is no need to pay attention to his ham-fisted explorations of fascism and authority when there are such big explosions on offer.


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