Friday, March 10, 2017

Sci Fi Top 100, #43: "Total Recall" (1990)

Movie Stats:

Released 1990 (USA)
American, in English
Director - Paul Verhoeven
Stars - Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Michael Ironside, and many others

Plot Summary:
A futuristic tale about average joe Douglas Quaid (Schwarzenegger), whose longing for something more out of life drives him to utilize a service that implants false memories. He quickly finds himself embroiled in a complicated plot involving Mars. Ticotin stars as Melina, the literal woman of Quaid’s dreams, and Ironside as Richter, the man hunting Quaid down.

Extreme violence; extreme gore; lots of blue language; brief female nudity (breasts only); heavily implied sexy times.

Bad Stuff:
It’s pretty cheesy, with lots of typical Schwarzenegger one-liners and some very hammy acting.

I don’t think they consulted any scientists before filming this. Most of it seems like BS.

Good Stuff:
The pacing is nice, fast enough to keep you interested but not so fast that you can’t make sense of what’s happening, and with plenty of action.

I like that it doesn’t play games with the audience. There’s not a lot of, “He’s totally dreaming. OR IS HE?”, like in “Inception.”  (Am I the only one who hated the ending of that movie?) This film is presented in a very straightforward fashion. It’s up to the audience to decide whether or not to take it at face value.

It’s fun.

The Verdict:
I’ve always enjoyed this film. Just a couple of weeks ago, I watched the remake and thought it was significantly inferior. The original has a better plot. Not hard when the remake’s plot is a hot mess, but regardless of that I think this plot is good. It makes sense. This film is a wild romp with plenty of sex, action, and humor. Yes, the science is questionable and the cheese factor is high, but, personally, I think that half the fun of Schwarzenegger movies are his punny one-liners (There’s actually a couple of great compilations of his one-liners on YouTube. Check them out if you need a good chuckle.) I don’t watch his films expecting them to be serious or deep.

I give it 3.75 stars.


Patricia said...

Yet another film I haven't seen. My Schwartzenegger list has very few entries on it. In fact, I just counted. I've seen three of his movies: Twins, T2, Total Recall. I have no idea why they all start with T.

I'm glad you like it, despite it's flaws. Some movies aspire to be certain things, and not other, grander things.

balyien said...

In general, I find his movies relatively entertaining. And given the kinds of things he's been saying lately, he now has a soft spot in my heart.