There’s no doubt in my mind that Arnold Schwarzeneggar is the greatest action star of all time. He’s been in so many great movies, like True Lies, Predator, and, of course, the awesome Terminator movies, but one film of his that I find incredibly underrated is the brilliant Sci-fi flick Total Recall.
In the film, Arnold plays Douglas Quiad, a man who dreams of one day visiting Mars, which, in the future, is in a constant state of violence thanks to a group of rebels who demand cheaper air. Unable to convince his wife to vacation there, Doug goes to a place called ‘Total Recall’, where he pays to have a memory of mars implanted into his brain, eliminating the necessity of going on an actual trip. As a bonus, he requests that the memory he receives will be of him as a secret agent, as opposed to an average joe.
As soon as the procedure begins, Doug starts freaking out on the technicians, who instantly put him back to sleep. While he’s asleep, they inform us that his memory has been previously erased, and that they accidently brought it back to life. When Jack wakes up, once again unable to remember what happened, he is immediately thrown into a world of secret agents, as he’s chased by a criminal all the way to Mars, where he realizes that his entire existence is an elaborate conspiracy, orchestrated by the evil air company.
The story is absolutely engrossing. There’s action every step of the way, and the plot has more twists and turns than anything made by M. Night Shamamamalsnan. Even though on the outside it may seem like standard action fare, the film is loaded with thought-provoking materia. The ending, in particular, requires the viewer to decide for themselves what has happened.
For a film made in 1990, the special effects are absolutely incredible. Actually, the effects in this movie look much better than the CGI-shit that congests modern sci-fi movies (with a few exceptions, district 9 being one of them). The make-up effects are something to be proud of as well, especially the Kuato puppet, which looks hideous, but fucking awesome at the same time. And, of course, there’s the infamous lady with three boobs. The sets on Mars are impressive too, with the whole place coming across as a scummier version of Mos Eisley.
Total Recall is an incredible action film, an incredible sci-fi film, and an icredible film in general. It succeeds on every level, and it’s entertaining as hell. It’s best of it’s kind, and I love it.