People are trying to kill you left and right. Two weeks was how long the Rekall procedure was supposed to last, but as we'll show in our next point, the malfunctioning robot has a point. The robot (which conveniently breaks down in the most narratively satisfying moment) malfunctions when asked for more specificity than "two weeks." But then a man shows up and tells the hero, Quaid, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, that it’s not a coincidence.

We know from the beginning that the scientists are combing through Quaid's dreams to better fit him for an implant—while Malina's face appearing on the televisor could be interpreted as Quaid's hallucination, we know it to be a product of the scientists' technology. In fact, many of the movie's plot elements are culled directly from innocuous moments embedded in those few opening scenes.

In the opening scenes prior to the Rekall procedure, he walks through an X-ray machine. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Quaid describes a woman who is "brunette... athletic... sleazy and demure," and before he passes out he sees that the scientists are sculpting Malina's face.

Some folks think it’s real, others think it’s a dream, and in an interview with filmmaker Paul Verhoeven about his new movie Elle we talked to the filmmaker about the issue and found out the truth. “Total Recall doesn’t say whether it’s reality or it is a dream, you know?

Paul Verhoeven lays out the clues that point to the dream interpretation on the DVD commentary of the movie, starting at the moment that Quaid drifts off to sleep after seeing Malina's face on the monitor. However, attentive viewers will remember that Quaid actually has a tracking chip buried in his cranium that he then has to remove to cast off his pursuers. Early in the film, one of Quaid's co-workers from the construction company warns him not to go to Rekall—he heard someone was lobotomized there.

The tracking chip is clearly made of metal, but didn't appear in the X-Ray, either before or after the Rekall procedure. As the scientists are preparing Quaid for the Rekall procedure in the beginning of the film, one of them notices something odd in Quaid's dreams. Why not?

We'll start at the beginning. Quaid ignores his warning; after the Rekall procedure, he discovers that his best friend is actually an undercover agent for the government tasked to keep Quaid unaware.

And Paul Verhoeven is right, in that it really is post-modern as hell. One of the most confusing facets of the movie is that the plot of Total Recall identically mirrors the memory implants that Quaid himself requests from the Rekall organization. Quaid wanted to remain true to himself while still taking advantage of the "Secret Agent" module of the Rekall procedure, and that manifests in his battle with the "Hauser" personality.

"Hauser" allows him to be both a secret agent deep undercover while still remaining the same person he was before being woken up from that deep cover. Total Recall Explained Total Recall never explicitly tells the audience it’s a dream, or that it’s a reality, and so the debate has raged on for years. This oft-overlooked detail is one of the strongest pieces of evidence that Quaid is dreaming. He tells the other lab worker, "Blue sky on Mars. It’s really saying there’s this reality and there’s that reality, and both exist at the same time,” Paul Verhoeven explained in a Canadian hotel room, the day after the film screened at TIFF. Later, after the Rekall procedure has begun and Quaid is running for his life, he passes through the X-ray machine again, this time setting off an alarm as it recognizes the metallic gun he's holding. As mentioned above, the scientists are culling Quaid's dreams for potent imagery, the better to match his subconscious desires with his Rekall-implanted memories. He still wants to be him, but he's tempted by the secret agent option.

He warns Quaid that the Rekall fantasy will become jumbled, that the "walls of reality will break down...One minute, you're the savior of the rebel cause; next thing you know, you'll be Cohaagen's bosom buddy.

That he positions her as the villain when she's so against him wasting money on a dangerous procedure (Rekall) or a vacation to a war zone (Mars) makes perfect sense. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani. monitoring_string = "f4e9a55d2640cb37b28a2b021fc63f8b"monitoring_string = "d597bbac21cf40e24fffa6cecdf4d8c5 ". This process involves taking on a new identity (such as Olympic athlete, millionaire, or secret agent), and Quaid bristles against it. Does the ending of Back to the Future make any sense whatsoever? And of course, one of the big ones: did Total Recall really happen, or was it all just a dream?

"So this is the last moment of his reality. His warning about the possibility of a lobotomy echoes throughout the visual inspirations of the movie: when Quaid pulls out his tracker chip, he pushes a tool through his nasal cavity until he hears a "chunk," a strikingly similar process to original lobotomy procedures. We don't even get a sense that this particular kind of death is common on Mars, as the residents have the good sense to stay indoors and breathe recycled air.

The dream starts. Likewise, when the doctor shows up on Mars to tell Quaid he's having an adverse reaction to the Rekall procedure, he takes the tack of reminding Quaid of the possible side effects to the brain. William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. But is he? I felt that basically I should not say ‘This is true, and this not true.’ I wanted – and we worked with Gary Goldman on that, not the original writers – [and we] worked very hard to make both consistent, and that both would be true. Likewise, in the lab scene, the secret arc reactor/alien artifact can be spotted flashing across the screen before Quaid's put under. She perfectly matches the personality type Quaid wants to appear in his Rekall memories. Malina is the mysterious woman who first appears in Quaid's dream that opens the film.

... That's the trick of the company, that they make a dream that's so convincing that it seamlessly goes from the first reality into the second one.".

Quaid's dreaming death scene is foreshadowing for the final action set piece on Mars, a viscerally effective image that the scientists used to make the Rekall sequence feel even more real.

So I think of course there is no solution. Lori (Sharon Stone), Quaid's wife, is against Rekall and Mars altogether.

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