We live in surreal times right now and a film that makes you question whether reality is real or not might be the perfect answer. I am, of course, talking about… no, not The Matrix. There’s more to existential cinema than The Matrix.
Anyway, before I was so rudely interrupted by my own tangent, let’s look at the classic reality-bender that’s arriving on Netflix on July 1st. I’m referring to sci-fi flick Total Recall. No, not the pointless 2010s remake starring the Brogue of Hollywood Boulevard. I’m talking about the real deal: 1990’s pulpy sci-fi actioner starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
For those unfamiliar with it, the film follows supposed construction worker Douglas Quaid, who quickly finds himself sucked into a Martian conspiracy of far-reaching consequence. And from there, we’re taken on a pretty wild ride.
It’s one of the most famous films in Arnie’s catalogue and is highly influential, if not on the same level of public consciousness as The Terminator or Predator. It’s also one of director Paul Verhoeven’s most popular features. His grotesque use of graphic violence does threaten to pull the viewer out of the drama on occasion, but the script’s constant playfulness keeps that from happening. Is Quaid a construction worker, is he a super-spy, is it all a corporate-provided memory vacation? The answers are all yours to debate.
Thinking of checking out Total Recall when it arrives on Netflix this July? Give us your thoughts on the movie (or your expectations of it) in the comments section below. I confess it’s been a few years since I’ve seen it. Every so often you’ll find it buried way down your TV guide late at night, usually in a double bill with Predator. I won’t divulge whether I stayed up for the whole thing, though. I’ll keep it deliberately ambiguous, just like Total Recall.