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'Total Recall' at 25: Paul Verhoeven's sci-fi still shocks

'Total Recall' at 25: Paul Verhoeven's sci-fi still shocks

Long before Christopher Nolan parsed densely interwoven layers of dream and reality in “Inception,” Paul Verhoeven took a pulpy deep dive into similar what-if terrain. This week marks the 25th anniversary of “Total Recall,” the Netherlands-born director's second stateside feature and, at the time of its release, one of the most expensive movies ever made. The thriller paired the unlikely Hollywood maximalist with an unlikely movie star, Austria-born bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the story of a working stiff haunted by the question “Is that all there is?” and shocked into interplanetary action by the answer. The character-driven films...

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