Total Recall

September 27, 2010

Total RecallWikipedia | Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, Michael Ironside, and Rachel Ticotin. It is based on the Philip K. Dick story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale”. Directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Ronald Shusett, Dan O’Bannon, Jon Povill, and Gary Goldman, it won a Special Achievement Academy Award for its visual effects. The soundtrack composed by Jerry Goldsmith won the BMI Film Music Award.

The plot concerns an apparently unsophisticated construction worker, Douglas Quaid (Schwarzenegger), who turns out to be a freedom fighter from Mars who has been relocated to Earth, and his attempts to restore order, and reverse the corrupt influence of commercial powers.

In 2084, Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a mild-mannered construction worker on Earth who dreams of exploring the human colonies of Mars. He opts to visit “Rekall”, a company that specializes in implanting false memories of a virtual trip to any location. Quaid pays for a Mars experience, including aspects of being a secret agent and discovering alien artifacts. When Rekall attempts to implant the memories, they find he already appears to have undergone a previous memory replacement procedure. Believing himself to be a secret agent whose cover has just been blown, Quaid attacks the medical staff until he is sedated. They quickly restore his memory (undoing Rekall’s changes only; Quaid still has his previous false memories) and send him home.

Quaid arrives and suddenly finds his former friends and his wife, Lori (Sharon Stone), are out to kill him. He is able to subdue Lori and learns that his life prior to the past two months are all false memories, and that she and his friends were there to keep track of him. Their marriage has also been false, as she is really the wife of Richter (Michael Ironside), the man that has led the attacks on Quaid. Quaid escapes, pursued by Richter, and eventually encounters a man that claims to be a former friend and gives him a briefcase. A tool inside allows Quaid to remove a tracking device implanted in his skull, throwing Richter off track. The briefcase also contains a video of himself; however, this version calls himself Hauser, revealing that he used to work for Mars administrator Vilos Cohaagen (Ronny Cox), but went undercover and implanted the Quaid personality to cover his tracks. The video of Hauser insists Quaid travel to Mars and deliver the information stored in his mind to the authorities to bring down Cohaagen.

Quaid arrives at the Mars colony and avoids capture by Richter and Cohaagen’s men. He discovers that, as Hauser, he has been here before, and reconnects with Melina (Rachel Ticotin), a prostitute in the redlight area of Venusville, where poor radiation shielding has created a number of mutants. After hearing Quaid’s story, Melina refuses to have anything to do with him. Returning to his hotel room, he is confronted by Lori and Dr. Edgemar (Roy Brocksmith), the leading researcher from Rekall. Dr. Edgemar claims that everything Quaid has experienced since leaving Rekall has been part of the false memories that have gone wrong, and that by taking a pill, they can restore his mind to normal. He is about to take the pill, but he kills Dr. Edgemar after seeing him sweating, then he spits out the pill. He is forced to run from Lori and several of Cohaagen’s soldiers; Melina arrives, having realized Quaid’s story is true and helps him to escape, killing Lori in the process. As they flee, she explains that one of the mutants, Kuato, may have the ability to extract Hauser’s information from Quaid. Along with a taxi driver named Benny, the three escape from Richter and make their way to Kuato (Marshall Bell); in revenge for aiding in their escape, Cohaagen blocks Venusville and shuts down its ventilation system, slowly causing the denizens to die from lack of oxygen. Quaid, Melina, and Benny are found by Kuato’s forces, and Quaid is taken privately to see the mutant – a small humanoid form conjoined to another man. The mutant helps Quaid identify a giant alien artifact device that has been recently uncovered, and implores him to start it up. As Quaid learns this, they are attacked by Cohaagen’s forces, and Benny (Mel Johnson Jr.) reveals himself to be a mole having led them to Kuato. Kuato is killed while Quaid and Melina are captured.

Quaid is taken to Cohaagen, who shows him another video by Hauser that reveals Hauser to be Cohaagen’s friend, and that he went through the false memory process in order to lead Cohaagen to the rebels without alerting their telepaths. Cohaagen orders that Hauser’s memories be restored in a Rekall device as well as wiping Melina’s mind, but the two manage to escape. They make their way to the site of the alien artifact, killing Benny, Richter, and the rest of his men in the process. As they enter the control room of the machine, Cohaagen arrives and attempts to stop Quaid by threatening to blow up the control room, but Quaid grabs the explosive charge and tosses it through a large vent, accidentally rupturing a wall exposed to the void of Mars’ atmosphere. Cohaagen is dragged out in the vacuum and dies from asphyxiation and decompression, while Quaid is able to start the machine just before they are dragged out. The device is revealed to be a sort of terraforming machine and generates massive amounts of oxygen, and Quaid and Melina are saved from death as the waves of breathable air sweep across the planet. As the citizens of Venusville and the colony find themselves safe and free of Cohaagen’s rule, Quaid and Melina kiss, with Quaid still wondering if this is still all part of his Rekall memories.

Link: Total Recall at IMDB