Total Recall

Question: Does the movie give any indication with any evidence in the movie that Douglas is dreaming for the ending?

Athletic Jason

Answer: Verhoeven points out that if a viewer believes the whole film is a dream, then Edgemar's prediction that Quaid will end up being lobotomized is fulfilled in the fade to white which ends the movie.

Answer: When Dr. Edgemar is in the hotel room with Quaid and Lori, Quaid puts a gun to Edgemar's head and says that if it's all a dream, that Quaid could just pull the trigger and it wouldn't really matter. Edgemar goes into details about consequences of what would happen if Quaid killed him. As seen, when Quaid kills Edgemar the walls of the hotel room crash down, Quaid believes he's the rebel savior, had visions of alien civilization and is best friends with Cohaagen and the white light that is at the end of the movie indicates that Quaid was lobotomized.

Also, consider the end when Quaid and Melina are on the surface of Mars, suffocating. Their eyes are bulging, the Mars atmosphere is burning their lungs, and their faces are bloated. Yet a few minutes later they're perfectly normal and having a romantic kiss.

Answer: There are many signs that the adventure was reality. When Quaid watched the news (before going to Rekall), the newscasters asked Cohaagen about Kuato and alien artifacts (the alien reactor) in the Mars Pyramid Mine. Lori didn't want Quaid going to Mars or thinking about Mars. Harry didn't want Quaid to go to Rekall, as he sounded very intense when he said this to Quaid. The Rekall technicians popped Quaid's memory cap before they could implant his ego trip. Richter and Helm were watching Quaid the whole time and his trip to Rekall made them attempt to kill him before he could remember the alien reactor and his previous identity. Edgemar lied when he said Quaid's "dream" started in the middle of the implant procedure when Dr. Lull had told McClane they hadn't implanted the ego trip yet. Edgemar shouldn't have been sweating if it was a dream. Richter, Helm, Lori, Edgemar, and Benny were all trying to help Cohaagen keep his evil power and prevent Mars from having free air.

This isn't true. The DVD commentary states that if the viewer is believing that the story is a dream, then it begins right where the camera cuts to McClane and his female client watching the TV monitor. The bit where Quaid resists and Renata says she hasn't implanted the ego trip yet are part of the dream. The clue is that McClane's statement is "the trip is as real as any memory in your head." So for it to come across as real, it has to begin right there and then.

If Lori is really Quaid's wife, it seems strange that he would dream of her trying to kill him. When Richter and Helm are trying to kill Quaid, several people get killed in the crossfire. When Edgemar and Lori visit Quaid, Lori gives Edgemar a look right before he takes out the red pill, almost as if Lori is signaling Edgemar to do that. They are awfully eager for Quaid to take that pill, and the film's novelization states that the pill could possibly be a knockout dose or lethal. If Edgemar is a projection, he should not be sweating, which makes Quaid realise Edgemar is real. Those four agents who blast through the wall were back there listening to the conversation and waiting to see if Edgemar's plan with the pill would work. Richter and Helm were downstairs in the bar waiting to hear from Lori and Edgemar that they captured Quaid. If Edgemar was telling the truth, why would Richter and Helm be down in the bar waiting? Also, the novel points more toward reality.

You are forgetting to assume the dream shows him stuff that didn't actually happen, like innocents being killed in crossfire. If it is all a dream it all doesn't matter, he is being fed lies by the implants, about his wife, about Cohaagen, about everything, the fact it connects to real events before he went to Recall (which don't show the truth at all) just shows the ingenuity of the implants, who use his memories to create the story. Edgemar sweating could be another illusion caused by the implants. If it really is all a dream the moment he killed Edgemar the implants screwed his brain up enough there was no way of knowing what was real anymore, and his wife is sitting besides him at Recall crying that he isn't going to wake up anymore, whilst Quaid is experiencing killing her in his dream. This then goes on for him until the end it lobotomizes him. That is, if you believe it was a dream.

lionhead

There is a villains site called Villains Wiki. Edgemar is listed on this site along with Cohaagen, Richter, Helm, Lori, Harry, and Benny. The article about Edgemar states that Quaid realises Edgemar is working for Cohaagen when he sees him sweating. It also states that Edgemar's goal is to aid Cohaagen in his plans. Also mentioned is the fact that Richter is Lori's real husband and is angered when Quaid kills her the same way he kills Edgemar.

Answer: The "dream" is when Quaid thinks Lori is his wife. Lori is really Richter's wife. The dreams Quaid had of Melina were visions reminding him of his past life.

Answer: Edgemar's red pill may have been a knockout dose so Richter, Helm, and Lori could take Quaid to Cohaagen. The red pill could also have possibly been poison, like cyanide. The pill wouldn't have returned Quaid to reality because he was still in reality.

Question: At the beginning of the movie, Quaid has a friend at work (if my mind's not failing me his name is Harry) that tells him not to go to Recall because some person got lobotomised. Later, when Quaid is returning from Recall his friend stops him and tries to kidnap (or kill) him because Quaid "talked about Mars". I can't understand the role that this man has in the plot. Quaid told his wife that this man is a spy (I wonder how he knew that), and I'd like to know which side he seems to be fighting for (the Agency or the rebels).

Answer: Harry works for the Agency the same way Arnie's wife did. While the wife watched him at home, Harry was to watch him at work. Harry told Arnie that story to keep him from going to Recall and to keep him from having to kill Arnie for bringing up his memories of Mars.

T Poston

Answer: It depends on whether you choose to believe the events of the film are real or in Quaid's lobotomized brain. If the events are real (i.e. Quaid is actually Houser with his memories blocked) then Harry is from the agency and is there to make sure Quaid doesn't say or do anything that would potentially break his memory block (like going to Recall). If you believe everything is in Quaid's mind after he goes to Recall, then Harry really was just his friend.

Question: There is a scene in the movie in which Arnie disguises as a woman to pass the entrance control in Mars. Moments later, the mask he's using starts to malfunction and he has to take it off. When he's doing that, we can see that the man who's playing Quaid is not Arnie but a stunt double. Why did the director choose a stunt double to replace Arnie in a scene that's not risky at all?

Answer: It's not a stunt double, it's a mannequin (fake head actually) of Arnie, used for the artificial head shot.

Grumpy Scot

Question: Why does Quaid shoot Dr. Edgemar when he sees sweat dripping from his head? What is it about the sweat that lets Quaid know something is wrong?

dan coakley..

Chosen answer: It was nervous sweat, which wouldn't happen if everything was only occurring in Quaid's mind.

zendaddy621

Question: Throughout the movie it's suggested that Quaid/Hauser isn't experiencing anything at all and what he's experiencing is in fact a memory implant. My questions is, did the events actually happen or were they simply the memory implant Quaid purchased at Rekall?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: Its left deliberately ambiguous for the viewer to make up their own mind about what's real and what's fake.

GalahadFairlight

Question: How was Hauser and Cohagen's plan supposed to work if Quad never went to Recall? Why are Cohagen's workers trying to stop him from going to Recall? His wife is constantly trying to talk him out of going to Mars and Recall, so how would Quad ever lead Cohagen to the mutant physic if he'd not gone?

dan coakley..

Answer: When Hauser and Melina are captured, Cohagen says, "Perfect my eye. You pop your cap six months before we could activate you."

Chosen answer: We're never told the details of their actual plan, but they indicate that his trip to Rekall activated him prematurely. The whole point of his new life was to give him a credible cover story. For it to work, they need him to stay there for enough time to make it believable under a background check. They could have intended to have him win a trip to mars from a lottery or something, but the point is that they simply weren't ready for him to up their timetable right then.

Garlonuss Premium member

Question: Dr. Lull says that she will do as Mr. Mclane says and "cover up any memory (Quaid) has of us or Rekall." However, when Dr. Edgemar comes in Quaid's hotel room on Mars, Edgemar reminds him that his experiences on Mars have been exactly what Quaid requested in his secret agent fantasy at Rekall, to which Quaid agrees. So obviously his memory of Rekall wasn't "covered up"?

Rollie55

Answer: He said, "Erase his memory of ever coming to Rekall," not the idea of going there, and the doctor said she'll do what she can to erase his memory, but it's pretty messy in there.

No he doesn't say that. He said "cover up any memory he has of us or Rekall." But they didn't, because he knows what Edgemar is talking about when he tells him the "demure and sleazy" woman is exactly what Quaid requested at Rekall.

Rollie55

Maybe they tried their best, but didn't succeed. Quite possible if his mind was already that messy.

lionhead

Well at first the movie implies that they did erase his memory of Rekall, because when Harry told him he went to Rekall he had no idea that he had been there. But later in the movie he remembers that he chose "demure and sleazy" when Edgemar is talking to him. So it's an internal contradiction and plot hole.

Rollie55

Them failing to permanently erase the memory but only temporary is not a plot hole. Doesn't even help the plot along. It's not important at all.

lionhead

It is indeed a plot hole and contradiction in the script.

Rollie55

Revealing mistake: Doug has the hologram when inside the alien nuclear reactor, and a bunch of bad guys encircle the holographic image and fire at it at point blank with automatic weapons, and not one bad guy gets hit. If they encircled the 3D image, at least a few bad guys would have been hit by their own men. (01:37:00)

More mistakes in Total Recall

Lori: They erased your identity and implanted a new one. I was written in as your wife so I could watch you and make sure the erasure took. Sorry, Quaid, your whole life is just a dream.
Douglas Quaid: Okay then, if I'm not me, who the hell am I?
Lori: Beats me. I just work here.

Bishop73

More quotes from Total Recall

Trivia: The Kuato model was handled by about 15 puppeteers, each controlling a different part of his face and hands. (01:15:30)

Daz

More trivia for Total Recall

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