TriStar Pictures | Release Date: June 1, 1990
8.9
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 319 Ratings
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Positive:
291
Mixed:
20
Negative:
8
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6
asthobaskoroAug 28, 2012
Total Recall is **** and total fun. Never count it as genius work, but under Paul Verhoeven's direction it never loses its DNA as sci-fi classic.
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6
ClariseSamuelsDec 25, 2012
his version of Total Recall depicts a universe that has been destroyed by chemical warfare, and has left only two pockets of civilization that are flourishing. The more powerful country, which is called The United Federation of Britain is anhis version of Total Recall depicts a universe that has been destroyed by chemical warfare, and has left only two pockets of civilization that are flourishing. The more powerful country, which is called The United Federation of Britain is an evil government trying to dominate the other populated area, aptly called The Colony, which seems to be located in Australia but looks more like overpopulated sections of Manila or Shanghai with a heavily Asian population. The Federation with its sophisticated technology wants to dominate and enslave the downtrodden Asians. The two populations are connected by a 17-minute train ride that takes them through the core of the earth. Colin Farrell, as Douglas Quaid or agent Carl Hauser, has to be paranoid throughout most of the film, which he does very well. He also has to be confused, disbelieving, and besides questioning the conflicting stories everyone keeps telling him about who he really is, he even has to doubt his own version of reality. He can't trust his own wife, Lori (Kate Beckinsale), an agent who was sent to play his wife after his memory of being a super-agent was wiped out and replaced with the memory of a mediocre factory worker. Kate Beckinsale has only a few brief scenes where she is the sweet and supportive young wife, and then turns into the villainous super-agent whose combat skills match Farrell's. Her transformation from benign to malevolent happens in one minute, and she is extremely convincing for an actress who is mostly known for her beauty. Douglas Quaid's real love from the previous life that he can't remember is Melina, played by Jessica Biel. She looks like Beckinsale and has the same combat skills, but she is humanized and made more fragile by her love for Quaid. Biel also turns in a surprisingly interesting performance; it seems that director Wiseman brings out the best in his actors, even the ones he's not married to. Bill Nighy's appearance is welcome but bewilderingly brief. The chase films are breathless and suspenseful, but there are too many of them and not enough cerebral dialogue to contemplate the basic theme of reality versus illusion. The line, "an illusion, no matter how convincing, is still just an illusion," taken from the original story by Philip K. Dick "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale," points to this theme but never takes us there. The film is violent; bystanders and others are killed off thoughtlessly and needlessly, although the violence is part of the plot depicting a Nazi-like regime that wants to subdue and dominate what they perceive to be an inferior race. The invading chancellor, Cohaagen, played by Bryan Cranston, is a British Hitler, and his murderous armies are mostly robots, which preempts any ethical considerations of how you get tens of thousands of troops to do the bidding of one lunatic dictator. The theories about what motivated the sadistic violence of the real Nazis are still being debated Expand
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4
Bruce722Nov 29, 2012
The acting was dreadful, the special effects were pathetic, and the action sequences were laughable. Not only that but the mutant stuff was a bit much. Mediocre film at best.
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6
FilmQueenNov 22, 2015
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. They tried to make Philip K. Dick's short story longer and they had some good ideas, like the ambiguity, I like that we can't know for sure whether it was all real or a dream. (Personally I am pretty sure, it's not real.) However a few things, like the mutants, were ridiculous. The special effects are horrible and I hated that they made the protagonist's girlfriend a whore. She could have been anybody, why a whore? Expand
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