Total Recall

This loud, fast, bone-crunching 1990 action thriller has two virtues of good SF literature: the creation of a foreign (if vaguely familiar) landscape and the sensation of displacement. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a construction worker in 2084 who discovers that he’s been implanted with false memories and a false identity; to clear things up, he has to make it to Marsnow colonized by greedy capitalists who create and abuse mutants through their control of the air. A worthy entry in the dystopian cycle launched by Blade Runner, this seems less derivative than most of its predecessors yet equally accomplished in its straight-ahead storytelling, with plenty of provocative satiric undertones and scenic details. Paul Verhoeven directed; with Rachel Ticotin and Sharon Stone (her first major role)not to mention 68 stuntpeople, some swell production design, and Rob Bottin’s gory makeup. R, 109 min. (JR)

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