Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Movie Review: Total Recall (1990)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Twisty story
Cons: Some of the effects, action characters
The Bottom Line:
Sci fi and action
Memories play a large part
Fun, fast paced movie

“You’re Having Paranoid Delusions.”  “You Call This a Delusion?”

I’d always been curious about Total Recall.  No, I’d never seen it, but it was huge while I was in high school.  I was just a little young to watch it then.  So when I spotted it on TV, I decided to give it a shot.  I’m glad I did.

Set in the year 2084, we are introduced to Doug Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a construction worker living on Earth.  But he is having vivid nightmares about Mars, a planet he’s never been to.  His wife, Lori (Sharon Stone), dismisses them, but he can’t help feeling that they mean something.  In hopes of figuring out what is happening, he goes to Rekall Inc., a company that will implant memories in people’s minds.  He agrees to have them implant memories of a trip to the red planet hoping it will help.  However, when the procedure starts, something goes horribly wrong, and Doug finds himself on the run.  His only hope is a real trip to Mars.  But will he survive what he learns along the way?

This is an action movie with a science fiction setting, which isn’t that big a surprise given the fact that it stars Arnold Schwarzenegger.  I can certainly see why it was popular when it first came out.  After the initial set up, this movie takes off and becomes a roller coaster ride with twists and action sequences that will keep you engaged until the climax.  The ending wraps up the plot but leaves a few things opened ended, which could lead to long discussions about what happened.

This being an action movie, the characters aren’t super developed.  They are developed enough for us to care about the action, but there isn’t much depth to them.  However, with all the action going on around them, it hardly matters.

Arnold Schwarzenegger made quite a career out of being an action star, and I can certainly see why he makes a good action star.  However, the fact that the script didn’t call for a lot of depth in the characters was probably a good thing.  He’s not the strongest actor.  The rest of the cast is better and makes the most of the material they’ve been given, but there just isn’t much for them to work with.

This movie came out in 1990, so you can expect the effects to be dated.  Some of them are actually fairly impressive for the time.  And some of the others?  They are laughable.  Unfortunately, I’m thinking specifically of some of the effects during the climax.  Still, you have to expect that when you sit down to watch a movie from that era.

Since I watched this movie on TV, I know I got a sanitized version.  The original is rated R, and I can tell there is content to make the movie earn that rating.  Just keep that in mind if you decide to watch the movie, and how you do so.

I’m glad I satisfied my curiosity and watched Total Recall.  I doubt I’ll be rushing back to watch it again, but it is a fun action movie.

1 comment:

  1. I watched this many years ago and enjoyed it, but like you, I've never had a desire to watch it again.


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