Total Recall (1990)
A classic bit of modern Sci-fi with our good old friend Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall (1990) that sees regular Joe Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who is frustrated with his hum-drum life in the future (very much a product of the late Eighties) wants some excitement in his life. Seeing an advert for implanted memories, which is too good to pass up. With a fixation to go to Mars from a recurring dream he has to seek out this experience.
Before he even goes under the chunky equipment for the implanted memories trouble is on its way and is not wanting to give up on following him. A group of armed men track him down before being violently killed in many ways that still holds up today.
His true identity is soon revealed, landing him in a world of trouble, even his wife Lori (Sharon Stone) is just an illusion, sent to keep him from finding out his identity. Turning into a full of fighting, gun-toting gunfighter who will stop at nothing alongside her real husband Richter (Michael Ironside) who knows more than he lets on himself. Stopping at nothing to track down Quaid who goes on the run, just to get away from all the turmoil in his life and safety.
Hope comes in the form of his former-self Hauser who tells him to go to Mars to get to safety. But it only gets worse for our favourite action hero who is confronted with yet more danger and chases. He gains the confidence of bar girl Melina (Rachel Ticotin) who at first doesn’t trust him until the stakes are raised for everyone.
The final acts sees everything kicked up a few notches, plenty more blood and action. Even with the now dated special effects this film still works. I was still amazed by the underground alien world, taking a nod from Forbidden Planet‘s (1956) ID creatures. Using simple science of an alien atmosphere to the more complex memory technology that could alter the course of an individual’s life. Whilst a man learns who he really is, and gaining the trust of Melina in this dark future that beholds some fantastic taxi drivers to video phone calls to the more dangerous in the realm of mind manipulation. Everyone wants a better life, unsure of the future, whilst others (Vilos Cohaagen (Ronny Cox)) in places of power want to control, afraid that it will slip away from them. Holding onto what we have in the present is easier than letting go to what the future has in store.
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