Monday, July 30, 2012

Total Recall

As a conglomerate wrestles of control of the Mars' atmosphere with the local population in a futuristic 21st century, a construction worker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) decides to take a mental vacation as a government agent to the Red Planet and has a travel chip implanted in his brain. Strangely however, just before the procedure is performed, he has a mental breakdown and flashes back to the exact memories which he intends to have implanted! Actually a brainwashed superspy, he now finds himself on the run from a series of government assassins as he travels to our neighboring planet to discover the truth behind his current situation. Paul Verhoeven's "Total Recall" is a relentlessly violent and entertaining science fiction action picture from the short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" by the late Philip K. Dick, who seems to responsible for many of the great sci-fi flicks from the past thirty years ("Blade Runner", "Minority Report"). The film brings plausible logic to its grossly improbable plot, and like its lead character, you are never quite sure just exactly what is going on, which is all played to great effect. A lot of this success can be contributed to Arnold's commanding believability. Michael Ironside and Ronny Cox also make effective baddies. "Total Recall" is impressive in both its medley ambitious material and breakneck pace. While events spiral somewhat out of control towards the end of the picture, I found this to be a fun and surprisingly challenging motion picture.