Total Recall




Paul Verhoeven




Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside


Colour 113 mins

A film inspired by a story by Philip K. Dick. Arnold Schwarzenegger's role suits his acting style.

The plot has a construction worker discovering he is in fact a spy with a vital secret about Mars and aliens which the bad guys will go to any lengths to suppress. Or the plot is about a construction worker who has a memory implant about being a spy with a vital secret which leaves him lost inside his own mind. The film deliberately does not force either interpretation, both are valid.

"Total Recall" rattles along at high speed, not taking itself too seriously. The set-pieces and plot twists are like a roller-coaster ride. Verhoeven was given enough leeway to create a world for the story to take place in, and a vivid world it is. The effects are dated, now so much would be done with computer graphics, but it is still very watchable 20 years on.

Personally I view the film as Arnie has lost his mind to the memory implant.