TOTAL RECALL, Paul Verhoeven 1990

Total recall

Another sci-fi screen version of Philip K. Dick’s short novel We Can Remember It For You Wholesale eventually directed by Paul Verhoeven in his good old days after David Cronenberg was rejected by producer Dino Di Laurentiis.

Douglas Quaid is bored of his current life routine and is kind of obsessed with Mars, he even dreams of being there with a dark attractive woman who seems very close to him. His beautiful wife, played by Sharon Stone, is trying to discourage him for the situation in that planet is unstable, many revolts and terrorist attacks are happening and does not think is a good idea to go there on vacation. However his wish is more powerful and becomes interested in Rekall, a company which offers a full pack of memories implanted in his brain thanks to microchip implants, as the most likely experience to get close to the red planet.

Doug buys a pack to Mars as a secret agent and submits to the treatment although he knows there’s a margin of error. During the process something goes wrong and he suffers a violent attack, apparently he’s got memories already, so Rekall main responsible decides to refund him the money and send him back to where he lives omitting all the incident. All of a sudden several people attempt to kill him unsuccessfully, even his own wife Lori, who also confesses he was an actual secret agent and all his life was a set up, for he must not come back to Mars. Obviously his first decision is flying to the planet where he will have to run for his life and recover his memories and even his former girlfriend Melina, and accomplish the mission he was commanded to.

The warrior midget

The warrior midget

Future is depicted pessimistic as in many other movies, and the theme of memories is reflected in Total Recall as it was very relevant in Blade Runner, curiously the first and most famous version of Philip K. Dick’s work. Memories can be erased or implanted and a human being is nothing but memories, so manipulation through them is a very powerful weapon to keep people tied up and controlled.

Total Recall is one of the last hot action movies played by Schwarzenegger and although his capacity for acting is too limited, this did not mean he was not clever enough to get involved in box office hits, the plot is very interesting and catchy based on a high quality story.

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