Total Recall Reviews
Set in the future, a man, Douglas Quaid (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger), is plagued by dreams that he is living an parallel life on Mars. (Mars has been colonised by Earth but is undergoing a civil war of sorts). Upon seeing an advert, he goes to Rekall Inc to take a virtual holiday on Mars through implanted memories in his brain. This sets off a chain of events, leading him to realise that he may have actually been on Mars before...
Clever and well thought out central plot, based on a short story by Philip K Dick, writer of books and short stories on which movies such as Blade Runner, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, Paycheck and The Adjustment Bureau have been based.
Direction by Paul Verhoeven is uneven. Special effects and action sequences are great and most scenes are decently directed. However, some plot developments feel a bit clumsy and contrived. Not the smoothest, most seamless direction.
With Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role, you know not expect too much in the acting stakes. However, despite having more dialogue than in the Terminator movies, Arnie does a reasonable job here. Hardly Brandoesque, but it'll do. Besides, he's there as an action hero and in the action scenes he does very well.
Solid performances from the main supporting cast: Sharon Stone, Rachel Ticotin, Michael Ironside, Ronny Cox. Some of the secondary supporting performances feel a bit hammy though, especially Mel Johnson Jr as Benny and Michael Champion as Helm.
Overall, good entertainment and far better than the 2012 remake.