Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Paul Verhoeven's "Total Recall" (1990)
Total Recall is a perfect blend of bloody fun sci-fi action and an intelligent science fiction story a la Blade Runner. Paul Verhoeven, who's a mildly controversial individual, took a Philip K. Dick short story as inspiration and created a fantastic science fiction film starring Arnold Scwarzenegger.
The difference between this Arnold flick and another is that the content of the film is much deeper than normal and will actually make you think. Although fairly cheesy at times, the film just works as a serious science fiction tale. This film even works on a pure conceptual level. What if your whole life was just a memory implanted in your brain? What if you were tricked to do what's wrong? Even if Verhoeven didn't create such a visually astonishing, fun, entertaining, and thought provoking film, the concept would be another to draw on.
Verhoeven makes everything look just right. This was his first film after the classic Robocop and Verhoeven definitely delivered with the seemingly high expectations he had been given. The film is shot well, paced well, and given just the right atmosphere. There's hints of humor all around, even among such dark subject matter.
Total Recall should be an appealing film to any science fiction fan. Anytime a film in this genre comes along that is both good old fun and thought provoking, it's definitely worth watching.
4 OUT OF 5 STARS