Total Recall (dir. Paul Verhoeven)

Jul 21, 2012 | Fiction/Lit/Movies

Boy, Total Recall (1990) is actually a lot weirder than I remember it. This is probably because, as a kid, I often caught bits and pieces of it on TV, so I rarely (if ever) watched it straight through, and whatever I did watch was an edited-for-TV version.

The mixture of Philip K. Dick-style high-concept sci fi / philosophy (ancient alien civilizations! questions about memory and selfhood!), with the Verhoeven-style portrayal of corporate culture and greed in all its vulgarity, makes for quite an odd film. The violent action sequences and casual obscenities are self-consciously over-the-top, grotesque and hilarious (I mean, just look at that guy’s gleeful, orgasmic face in the screenshot), which is all well and good, but it’s weird that such self-conscious violence and obscenities are in this film, now that I think about it. It’s like a mix of Minority Report and Commando.