review for Total Recall on AllMovie

Total Recall (1990)
by Brendon Hanley review

Total Recall revels in the state-of-the-art special effects and frantic violence characteristic to most of director Paul Verhoeven's American productions. Though based on a story by the creator of Blade Runner, author Philip K. Dick, Total Recall is more of an action movie than a philosophical rumination on identity. Still, the film gets a lot of mileage out of the questionable notion that "you are what you remember." The screenplay was finally credited to five writers; it had bounced around Hollywood for a number of years with different directors and stars before it reached Verhoeven. The director's brand of high-octane, cartoonish violence is a good fit with the material, though his style may have been better suited to 1988's more satiric Robocop. The movie received a special achievement Academy Award for its impressive effects.