Paul Verhoeven’s ferocious science fiction actioner Total Recall is back on the big screen following a new 4K digital restoration. The director of Robocop, Showgirls and Starship Troopers is a master of beefy, violent, have-your-cake-and-eat-it satire, and this 1990 Arnold Scwarzenegger vehicle is one of his best efforts.
Set in the year 2084, the former Governor of California stars as Douglas Quaid, a bored construction worker who dreams of visiting the colonised planet of Mars. When an accident occurs during a visit to Rekall, a company that promises to implant those experiences, Quaid finds himself caught up in a conspiracy of false memories and corporate violence.
Wild, outlandish and subversive, this interplanetary thriller remains a treat thirty years on from release. Arnie’s one-liners and a certain cosmetic augmentation might have imprinted themselves on our collective pop culture consciousness, but Total Recall is more sly and slick than its reputation suggests.