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TOTAL RECALL (1990)

In this futuristic (2085 A.D.) thriller, Douglas Quaid, frequently haunted by a recurring nightmare involving a journey to Mars, decides to purchase the services of Rekall Inc., a company the sells implanted memories.  But during implantation something goes terribly wrong, sparking memories that were deliberately erased (permanently) from his mind.  During the implantation mishap Quaid’s brain triggers memories of his former life; he was once a secret agent assigned to battle the evil Mars administrator Cohaagen.  But what to do next? And whom can he trust?  As Quaid struggles to resurrect his memory he realizes that there are many, many people who have been ordered to terminate such aspirations, including those seemingly closest to him.  Will Quaid be able to reconcile his strange past, evade death, and avenge evil injustices occurring on Mars, now a corrupt mining colony, before his many-faced nemeses put a stop to his noble pursuits?

The quality cast includes: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, Rachel Ticotin, and Ronny Cox.

With "Total Recall" director Paul Verhoeven delivered a slam bang, Sci-Fi action thriller with a pace that never lets up.

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A Sci-Fi/Action Classic

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"They stole his mind, now he wants it back. Get ready for the ride of your life."

The basic story, set in 2084, on earth, starts simply enough when a construction worker, Douglas Quaid, who has reoccurring dreams about Mars, wants to take a "mental" vacation to Mars. So, he goes to Rekall Inc., and buys implanted memories and goes on his mental trip there. Something goes terribly wrong, and another personality emerges. Soon, he finds himself in a wild new existence, where his former friends and several men unknown to him, chase him around town, trying to kill him.

He eventually finds a video recorded message left by his true self from his former, until then unknown life, telling him how to remove the sensor from his nose, and instructing him to return to Mars, for real, to not only further discover his true identity, but also to join the rebel forces in the underground there. "If I am not me, den who da hell am I?"

On Mars, he accomplishes both goals, by eventually remembering everything about his true self, as he helps the rebels, and dodges bad guys left and right, and falls in love all over again. Lots of good science fiction ideas flow throughout the story, that is sure to please all interested in the genre.

The film deals in an interesting fashion with issues like memory and identity. The script, by Ronald Shusett & Dan O' Bannon, is an adaptation of the Phillip K. Dick short story, "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale." Dick, who also wrote the novel, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep," adapted it into the classic "Blade Runner." Dick had battled mental illness for years, perhaps influencing the subjects and themes of his unusual stories and novels.

Sharon Stone does a great job as Lori Quaid, an agent of the bad guys, sent to keep an eye on Douglas Quaid on earth, posing as his wife. She plays the bad girl very well. Lori is such a beautiful woman, who is so nasty and foul-mouthed!

Rachel Ticotin, as Melina, Douglas's old Mars flame, does a great job as both his love interest, helper, and fellow freedom fighter.

Ronny Cox is terrific as the villainous Vilos Cohaagen, Mars Administrator, who is a cold-hearted, corporate bully, that has total control of the oxygen flow, and has no scruples or mercy. This character is someone that would inspire rebellion in the decent citizens of any world.

The eye popping special effects were done by Dream Quest. They won an Oscar for their work on THE ABYSS.

My favorite scene takes place on Mars. Arnold meets in secret with the odd, mutant leader, Tony (Dean Norris), of the Mars rebels. The scene is odd, disturbing, and full of surprises.

There is a fair amount of violence in this film, not to mention the potty words and salty language and isn't recommended viewing for children, or sensitive people.

If you enjoyed TOTAL RECALL, you may like T-2, ERASER, ROBOCOP, THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT, TRUE LIES, and THE CONSPIRACY THEORY.