Thursday, November 20, 2014

Film Review: Total Recall (1990)

Total Recall (Review)
United States/1990
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...a magnificent action-thrill ride with a wonderfully-crafted world."

In 2084, Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a construction worker on Earth who has dreams of Mars. One day, Quaid visits "Rekall", a company that provides implanted memories of vacations. Before the memory is implanted, though, Quaid has a surge of his own memories...

Total Recall continues to follow Quaid as he remembers himself as a secret agent. Rekall sedates him and tries to wipe his memory, but the damage has been done. Soon, Quaid finds his world flipped upside-down as he's chased by pursuers he can't seem to recognize. Eventually, he finds messages his old self left him, and he spirals into a complicated ride filled with twists and turns. That's as far as I'll go for my synopsis -- this is a film where the less you know, the better. I will say: I thoroughly enjoyed the entire plot, and the ending, albeit abrupt, was great.

Total Recall is a fantastic film. First and foremost, the world is amazing. I was instantly immersed into this futuristic setting. The world was mesmerizing on Earth and Mars. The plot kept me hooked from beginning to end. This is a story that always stays on its feet, consequently delivering a turbo-paced film. There's barely any time to breath thanks to the ridiculously fast pace. When the plot isn't twisting or turning, the film is hitting you with breathtaking chase scenes, a violent shootouts, brutal fights, or its effective black humor. Whatever its hitting you with: it works and it works well.

In this case, though, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Arnold Schwarzenegger. Of course, I didn't mind, I love action-hero Arnie, but it's worth noting for those expecting some groundbreaking acting. Fortunately, the rest of the cast and their characters are filled with personality. The world is beautifully captured through the cinematography. The action is effective captured through the engaging camerawork, too. The music stood out most, though. It's a classic SciFi soundtrack that helped build the immersion factor of the film. Actually, scratch that, I think the special effects and makeup stood out the most. The makeup in this film is unforgettable. I first watched this film in the 90s as a child, and I still can't forget it. Director Paul Verhoeven masterfully crafts a wonderfully immersive world, and delivers a fast-paced, action-thrill ride.

Overall, Total Recall is a magnificent action-thrill ride with a wonderfully-crafted world. Whether your looking for action or SciFi, this film delivers tenfold. Love music and special effect/makeup? This film delivers. Want a twisted and engaging plot? This film delivers. It's a ridiculously fun time -- this is how you make a SciFi blockbuster. I can't recommend this film enough. If you haven't seen it yet, you're over 20 years late.

Score: 10/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, some nudity.

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