Cert: 18 Runtime: 113 mins Director: Paul Verhoeven Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Rachel Tictoin, Ronny Cox and Marshall Bell
If I am not me, then who the hell am I?
So with the new Total Recall on the way, I thought we could go back to 1990 and visit the original. For me as a kid in the 90’s I was always fascinated by the three boobed chick in the movie. This is my main reason for remembering Recall, but after watching it again recently I can honestly say it is a classic. The year is 2084. Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a construction worker, every night Doug has been having horrible nightmares about the planet Mars and it has become very obsessive for Doug. Doug goes to “Rekall INC” a company that sales false memories of ideal holidays. When Doug has a false memory of a holiday on Mars implanted, it all goes terribly wrong. Doug has lost his memory and he is being chased by a group of assassins and his beautiful wife Lori (Sharon Stone) is a agent who claims his whole life is a fake and he isn’t who he is. After discovering he is Hauser, a former Mars Intelligence agent, Quaid goes to the colony on Mars, in hoping of finding answers. Where he meets a woman named Melina (Rachel Tictoin) who is working for rebels and the assassins are working for Vilos Cohaggen (Ronny Cox), the colony’s corrupt administrator. As Doug sets out to discover who he is and why Cohaagen is after him, Doug not only is finding answers, he also begins to question reality. Is the events of Rekall INC, being chased by assassins and going to Mars really happening? Or Is it all a dream?
Dreams and reality are always in conflict because the line gets blurred so easily and there isn’t a real way to be sure. I’ll admit I’ve actually had several instances where I thought that my dreams were actually the real world and then when I woke up I was confused if I really woke up to reality or if I’m still dreaming. This film is one of my personal favorite sci-fi movies everything about it is just great let alone the fact it’s based on one of the short stories from my favorite sci-fi author Philp K. Dick.Everything about the film is just great from the production value, everything is practical from make up to set pieces there is very little CGI and when the CGI is used it looks great because it looks real. This film to me is one of the best examples of effects and CGI used the right way, well and for the right reasons. One favorite effect of mine is the Robot mask sequence, the mask was practically a three dimensional puzzle, I love how we see it come apart and put itself together. But most importantly I just love the world of the future created because it feels possible and plausible, some concepts are slightly prolific on what we have now. Like the concept that we’ve been able to colonize planets and are able to travel to them as an everyday convenience. But also the technology mainly the Recall machine which is an interesting and fascinating concept because it’s the ability and freedom to create memories and identity anyway you want.
The action sequences are great their all well choreographed and practical plenty of gore effects, like one of my favorite shootouts was in the alien plant and Quaid was using the hologram as a decoy, it was great because even I was fooled sometimes let alone it’s sort of acts as an irony to the theme of the film. But also the infamous scene of seeing both Melina and Lori fight, it was a short fight but still it was fun because of just how well choreographed and slightly realistic it was and just the fact two strong hot women were fighting is a turn on for me (seriously I don’t know why it just is).And the characters are great. To me Douglas Quaid is my favorite role from Arnold Schwarznagger. Not just do we like the character Quaid because he can kick butt and has charisma, but that he’s actually sympathetic. Throughout the film you see him just completely disoriented with everything happening around him and is struggling to make sense of it but is unable to because there are so many twists and turns and nothing to nobody is what it seems.One moment where I really sympathize with him was in getting jumped by spies and suddenly he starts fighting and killing the guys, after the battle is over he looks at his hands in shock over what he’s done. You can clearly see in his eyes he’s thinking the same thing we are, “how in the hell did he do that.” I like Melina (Rachel Ticotin) she’s like the common femme fatale in thrillers one to help the hero and fall in love with, she’s hot and has the persona and fighting skills to boot. Even the villains are great other than Lori (Sharron Stone) whom was great as the typical deceptive dangerous femme fatale to foil the protagonist. Cohagen (Ronny Cox) whom is a ruthless CEO that rules Mars with an iron fist as well as make big profits at the cost of lives.
But to me the villain that stands out is Richter played well by one of my favorite actors Michael Ironside, he’s just a right hand man that is just so ruthless and hell bent on wanting to kill Quaid for no apparent reason it just seems like he hates his guts, may’be both had some bad blood in the past I don’t know. He’s menacing because of his unbending determination to kill him, he’s willing to kill anyone in the way if it means he has a clear shot. He’s kinda fun/funny because there is this really black sense of charisma or dry humor to his character.It tackles the existential philosophical concepts on what is reality as well as what is identity. It really is trippy when you think about it, whenever you wake up everything is always the same except the day which always changes and with every tomorrow we always add more to our identity or discover things about ourselves we didn’t think existed. And how much about our past can we really remember, there are times when there is conflicting viewpoints on how we remember certain event of our life, another at that event may remember and viewed it differently, or it just didn’t happen at all.