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A 1990 science fiction action thriller directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Ronald Shusett and Dan O' Bannon and Gary Goldman, who previously wrote the original Alien. This was Verhoeven's 2nd science fiction action film and the first collaboration with composer Jerry Goldsmith and actress Sharon Stone, both of who he worked with on his next film Basic Instinct. The film stars Arnold_Schwarzeneger, Rachel Ticontin, Ronny Cox, Michael Ironside, and Sharon Stone. It is an adaptation of the 1966 Philip K. Dick story, "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale."
It is 2084, Douglas Quaid is a construction worker who lives a peaceful life on Earth with his loving and beautiful wife Lori. Yet he keeps on having strange and vivid dreams of Mars, which is governed by the corrupt Cohaagen who spends much of his time fighting rebels and searching for an artifact located deep within Mars's mines. Curious, Quaid visits Rekall, a company that provides memory implants of vacations, and decides to take a memory trip to Mars as a secret agent. But, after he takes the trip, he suddenly remembers that he is actually a secret agent himself. Rekall forcibly removes Quaid's memory and sends him home, but Quaid soon finds himself in danger as he is attacked by people he thought were his friends. Quaid decides to head to Mars to find out the truth about who he really is while fighting off his attackers.
The film was a box office and critical success, earning $261,299,400 worldwide and became one of Schwarzenegger's most iconic films. It also won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects as well as the Saturn award for Best Science Fiction Film and Costumes.
Like much of Verhoeven's films, the film is notable for being highly violent to the point that it had to be trimmed down a bit in order to secure a rating appropriate for a mainstream Hollywood release. Unlike Robocop and Basic Instinct, the removed violence has not been put back in for home video releases. The film also has an ambiguous ending that has spawned differing interpretations of what exactly happened in the story.
The film received video game adaptations as well as a 1999 Canadian TV series adaptation called Total Recall 2070 that is more of a cyberpunk noir thriller in the vein of Blade Runner. The film received a remake in 2012, that was directed by Len Wiseman and written by Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback. It stars Colin Farrell, Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale, and Bryan Cranston. The soundtrack was composed by Harry Gregson Williams. This incarnation is notably much less violent than the original and was less successful financially and critically.
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