Reviews | Written by Andrew Pollard 24/11/2020



To mark its 30th anniversary, Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall is the latest old favourite to be given a shiny new 4K release. Having had chance to look under the hood of said new release, let’s see whether this one’s worth spending your money on.

Plot-wise, Total Recall takes place on Mars in 2084 and centres on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Douglas Quaid. A construction worker by trade, Quaid soon finds himself thrown into a crazed tale of espionage and mystery. Are his memories and experiences real, or are they all merely implants of a life he wishes he’d lived? With twists and turns a plenty – and with an impressive ensemble cast featuring Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside and Ronny Cox – Total Recall has long been a favourite of so many genre fans.

As someone who hasn’t watched Total Recall for a good few years, it’s striking to realise all over again just how fun the film is. Not in a slapstick manner, of course, but Total Recall so often has an undercurrent of humour flowing through it, and the practical SFX on show are just as charming this time around as they were when the film was released back in 1990.

The majority of you are likely well, well aware of Total Recall as a movie, but what does this new release of an old favourite offer up to make you contemplate parting with your pennies? Firstly, the 4K restoration of the movie works so, so well for the more outlandish elements of Verhoeven’s film – in particularly, the red desolation of the trippy Mars scenes pop from the screen in a ridiculous manner. Likewise, this new sheen also affords further appreciation for the aforementioned SFX of the feature, with you again being able to realise why Total Recall was such a true revolutionary of its time when it comes to the movie’s visuals.

Elsewhere, the Total Excess: How Carolco Changed Hollywood documentary could well be a release all of its own, such is the quality as we get to explore the golden years of ‘80s and ‘90s cinema. Detailed doesn’t even cut it when it comes to describing how great Total Excess is, with this such a fantastic watch for anyone with even the slightest of interest in the films of those times. In addition to this, though, there are so many other fantastic pieces of bonus material included on this release – whether that’s the Open Your Mind: Scoring Total Recall featurette, the Dreamers Within the Dream: Developing Total Recall effort, the audio commentary from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Paul Verhoeven, or the other plentiful little nuggets dotted across this anniversary edition.

For fans of Total Recall, this new release is an absolute must-have. For those who have yet to see the movie, this is the absolute perfect way to experience a bona fide sci-fi classic.

Please note delivery times may be affected by the current global situation. Dismiss