Total Recall (1990) is set in 2084, a time when a human named Douglas Quaid experiences nightmare about Mars and a mysterious woman. His wife Lori thinks that his dreams means nothing and she urges him to just ignore them. In Mars, Governor Vilos Cohaagen fights the rebels as he searches for an alien artifact said to be in one of the mines there. One day, Quaid goes to Rekall, an establishment that offers memory implants of vacations. Quaid chooses a memory trip to Mars with him acting as a secret agent. However, something goes wrong while the memory is being implanted. Quaid sees visions that make him question the reality around him. It turns out that memories of being an actual agent are hidden in Quaid’s mind. As he struggles with the memories resurfacing on his mind, Quaid is sedated and the memory of his visit to Rekall is wiped out from his brain. He decides to go home and on the way, he is attacked by a former colleague and some of his friends. This forces him to fight and he discovers that he is skilled in combat. When he reaches his apartment, he’s ambushed by Lori who turns out to be an agent sent by Cohaagen to monitor him. Lori’s real husband, Richter, also pursues him when he escapes.
Quaid finds himself armed with a suitcase with money, gadget, fake IDs, props for disguise and a video recording of himself. He watches the clip and he learns that he really is Hauser, a man who previously worked for Cohaagen. In addition, he discovers that the reason why he chose to have his memory wiped is because of the artifact in Mars. The video also instructs him to take out the tracking device implanted in his skull and then he must go to Mars and check into Hilton Hotel afterwards. Quaid goes to Mars and the evidence that he follows leads him to Venusville, filled with mutated people affected by radiation. There, he meets Benny and the woman from his dreams, Melina. On the other hand, Melina distrusts him, believing that he’ still under the command of Cohaagen.
After some time, Quaid meets again Lori who comes with a doctor named Edgemar. Dr. Edgemar tells him that he is merely suffering from “schizoid embolism” and it causes him to experience things that are based on fantasies. The doctor then offers him a pill that is supposed to wake him from his fantasies. Quaid almost swallows the pill but he reads Edgemar actions and he realizes that they are planning to kill him. At that moment, Lori calls for Richter and his squad. Quaid is captured but Melina comes to save him. As the two escape, Quaid manages to kill Lori. They go back to Venusville where use the tunnels to escape. When Cohaagen can’t find Quaid, he orders the shutting down of Venusville’s ventilation. Meanwhile, Quaid, Melina and Benny end up in the resistance’s base. There, they meet Kuato, a parasitic twin attached to his brother’s stomach. Kuato makes a reading on Quaids mind and the group learns that the artifact is actually a turbinium reactor that can provide a breathable atmosphere for Mars when it is activated. If the reactor is activated, Cohaagen’s control of the planet will diminish. At that moment, Cohaagen executes an attack on them. Kuato and members of the resistance are killed. Before he dies, Kuato tells Quaid that he should find the reactor and activate it. Quaid also finds out that Benny is actually working for Cohaagen.
Together with Melina, Quaid heads for the reactor control just to find Cohaagean awaiting for him with a bomb. The two men engages in a fight and when Cohaagen activates the explosive, Quaid snatches and throws it across one of the walls. The bomb explodes and causes a decompression. Quaid lands a blow on Cohaagen and the man is sucked out onto the Martian grounds. Before they can also be sucked out, Quaid activates the reactor. The movie ends with reactor releasing breathable air all over Mars. Quaid and Melina are also saved just in time along with the other people in the planet.