Jon Povill

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Total Recall Review


Good
Arnold Schwarzenegger made a smart bet with Paul Verhoeven's futuristic splatter-pic Total Recall. Unlike most of the hulking killers from his body of work (The Terminator, Conan the Barbarian), befuddled construction worker Douglas Quaid is at a loss over how to proceed with his memory-bending dilemma. No amount of physical brawn will crack the central question: Who am I? Am I who I think I am, and if I'm someone different, does that mean I can move beyond my former crimes? The sleek band of assassins are chasing him through the Orwellian streets, and poor Quaid may be kicking the hell out of them, but Arnie is as terrified as he's ever been. Inside of this mountain is a mousy everyman -- he never asked to become a superspy.

Quaid should be A-OK. He seems satisfied with his job as a construction worker and is married to a seemingly docile wife (Sharon Stone). He gets on well with his fellow employees, though his head is often in the clouds as he dreams of Mars. How to solve the problem? A handy-dandy trip to the false memory transplant center will make all his dreams come true, asking the technogeeks to make him believe he's a top secret agent en route to Mars on a mission (with the woman of his fantasies being a sassy brunette, as opposed to his demure blonde wife). No sooner has he received the implanted memory than he starts to freak out, beating people up, claiming that he is not Quaid. When he wakes up, he's himself again but unexplained killers are out to destroy him, his wife cheerfully tries to knife him in the kitchen, and videotapes of "Quaid" appear, telling him he's an indispensable part of the underground resistance fighting corrupt political figure Copenhagen (Ronny Cox, perfectly smarmy).

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Total Recall Movie Review

Total Recall Movie Review

Arnold Schwarzenegger made a smart bet with Paul Verhoeven's futuristic splatter-pic Total Recall. Unlike...

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