Total Recall

release year: 1990
genre: sci-fi/action
viewing setting: home DVD, 4/1/12 and numerous times over the last two decades

synopsis: A regular guy with a regular life suddenly finds that he had memory blocks, which are broken to reveal that he's some sort of super secret agent who holds the key to the survival of Mars and everyone on it.

impressions: This is still just as entertaining as it was when it was made. It mixes science-fiction concepts and barely-futuristic technology with plenty of action and fighting. There's violence and gore, plus a low-level plot (the memory issues) plus a high-level plot (alien artifacts on Mars.)

acting: Arnold was still pretty massive in this one, and does a good job as someone who finds out that his whole life is a lie. Ronny Cox is the greedy corporate bigwig, and Michael Ironside is the #1 evil henchman. Rachel Ticotin is a freedom fighter and Arnold's love interest, while Sharon Stone is his false wife and an assassin of sorts.

final word: Gritty, violent future vision of unglamorous life on Mars.

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