Total Recall (1990)

Genre: Sci-Fi, Action/Adventure

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside

Synopsis: The Governator stars as a man who has his memory wiped and has to return to Mars in order to help a bunch of freedom fighter hookers and a man with a vagina for a face.

I’ve been in the mood for a good sci-fi movie recently. I decided that I wanted to watch something I hadn’t seen before so I decided to watch Species….big mistake. All the sopping vagina and phallic tentacle imagery kind of grossed me out so I decided to watch Total Recall instead, which has a character that has a vagina on his face. FML. Paul Verhoeven once again shows us that he is something of a crazy genius with this film. It ticks all the boxes: violence, puns, sex, boobs…three boobs on one person. There’s something for everyone to enjoy.

As far as convincing stories go, this movie ranks somewhere near the bottom. The creators essentially slap science in the face with a massive creative license dick. I mean, Mars having a center of ice and melting it will create and atmosphere and not implosion??? Wet towels block tracking devices??? (“Don’t forget to bring a towel”) Aaaahh mega frustration but it’s all pretty funny so I can forgive it. One thing I cannot forgive, however, is any manner of sex scene featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Gross. I’m sure the guy got a lot of action in his heyday but I don’t need to know about it or see it. Having said that, if he got it on with the midget hooker freedom fighter I might want to see that because I imagine that would be like a train crash: horrible but you can’t look away.

Enough of my insane ramblings! This movie can be a lot of fun if you don’t take it too seriously. Sharon Stone and Arnold put in pretty good performances and the plot does contain a few twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting so it kept me on my toes. Obviously, it’s not the greatest sci-fi film around and it didn’t really satisfy my craving for something futuristic and thought provoking. It did kill a couple of hours though and there’s nothing wrong with that. I am told that the remake is terrible though. I’m not sure how it differs from the original so I can’t really do a comparison piece but I know that the three-boobed woman makes an appearance in the remake too so at least some things never change.

High-lights:

  • Midget hooker freedom fighter with a knife.
  • “SCREW YOU!!!”
  • Karate Chop! HHHIIYYYAAAA!!!
  • It has almost an unrefined Matrix quality to it i.e. what is real and what isn’t? However, it’s clearly not as good as the Matrix…I should really watch that sometime soon.
  • Once again, this movie makes good use of that weird 80s future where everything still looks like it was made in the 80s and everyone has a perm and shoulder pads. It’s the future I can’t wait to be a part of.

Downers:

  • The tracker extraction scene was kind of gross.
  • Eeeeww the resistance leader is gross.
  • The blatant disregard for science brings tears to my eyes.

Summary:

Usually with sci-fi films I like to watch them after taking a sativa dominant strain because space is just so awesome that your mind explodes with wonderfulness. Total Recall, however, is an exception because it’s not really a cerebral thriller. As such, the movie doesn’t blow your mind with visuals or beauty. It’s just a satisfying action movie so an indica dominant strain might be more suitable. Not the best sci-fi and not the best Schwarzenegger movie but still worth a look.

6.5/10

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2 Comments

Filed under Action/Adventure, Good, Sci-Fi

2 responses to “Total Recall (1990)

  1. davecrewe

    I’ve never thought of the blatant disregard for science as a problem, given the bulk of the film has a 50/50 shot of being a dream sequence/memory implant from Rekall (or is it just Recall?). Plus, who needs realism when you have moments like “See you at the pahty, Richter.”

  2. I love this movie. Never got hung up on the science part either because it’s science fiction and I figure it’s up the writers on how they balance or don’t balance those two parts. It works here. I agree with the other comment about the dream sequence element being a fair enough reason for why the science can be the way it is. This film is a wild ride all the way through. Oh and I like this film way better than the Matrix, I might be alone on that one though.

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