Plot Timeline

  • Douglas Quaid lives in a luxurious apartment with his wife, Lori. He works as a construction worker. At night, he consistently dreams about a certain girl on Mars. Quaid wants him and Lori to visit mars, but Lori does not want to with all the Martian terrorist activity in the news.
  • One day, Quaid sees an ad for Rekall, a company that lets people have their “dream vacation” by injecting memories of the vacation into the customer’s dreams. Quaid goes to the service despite the warnings from his friend at work.
  • Quaid decides to experience an “ego trip,” where he lives a different person’s life in the dream vacation. Quaid chooses to be a secret agent from Mars.
  • Before the dream is implanted into him, it is revealed that Quaid’s memories have been tampered with, and that he actually is a secret agent from Mars. The Rekall doctors erase his memory of his visit, refund his money, and send him home.
  • On his way home, Quaid’s friend from his work attempts to kill him since he was able to remember his memories about Mars. Quaid kills the attackers in response.
  • Lori reveals that she isn’t really his wife. Cohaagen, the governor of Mars, had set up his current lifestyle after erasing his memory of Mars.
  • Ritcher, Lori’s real husband, shows up to recapture Quaid. Quaid successfully escapes.
  • Quaid receives a videotelephone call from a person claiming to be his friend on Mars. The friend leaves Quaid with a briefcase containing a message from himself. The message claims that his real name is Hauser, and that he used to work for Cohaagen before learning that the recently discovered alien device has the power to create oxygen for people on Mars. The briefcase also contains a device to help Quaid remove the tracker that Cohaagen had planted on him.
  • Quaid Sneaks on to Mars using fake identification and a disguise found in the briefcase. He is found out when passing through customs, and a fight breaks out. Quaid sneaks past the Mars border when an explosion takes out the windows of the dome, causing people to be pulled out into the Mars wilderness.
  • Quaid visits Melina in Venusville after receiving a tip from the hotel that his previous self used to stay at. Melina resembles the woman in his Mars dreams. Quaid leaves after Melina gets angry at him for not remembering her.
  • A Rekall doctor shows up to tell Quaid that he is dreaming while in a machine at Rekall. Quaid has become too immersed in his dream, and the doctors at Rekall are worried that he would never wake up. The doctor attempts to get Quaid to swallow a pill to help wake him up, but Quaid determines that he is lying and kills him.
  • Cohaagen’s men arrive to arrest Quaid, but Melina saves him.
  • Unable to find Quaid, Cohaagen turns off the oxygen for Venusville.
  • The two then go to meet Kuato, the leader of the Martian terrorists, to try and restart Quaid’s memory. Kuato is revealed to be a mutant with psychic powers, and he helps Quaid recall the rest of his memories about the device and Cohaagen.
  • During their meeting, Cohaagen’s troops invade the terrorist’s hideout. Kuato is killed and Quaid and Melina are captured.
  • Cohaagen tells Quaid that his memory loss was part of their plan to infiltrate the terrorist’s base. Cohaagen then sets Quaid up to implant his memory back into him. Cohaagen also tries to change Melina’s memory to forget the situation. This does not work, and Quaid and Melina escape.
  • Quaid and Melina go to the mines where the alien device is located. While trying to turn it on, Cohaagen appears to stop them. An explosion from the fight causes the windows to shatter, and Cohaagen is thrown out of the shelter.
  • Quaid activates the machine before being thrown out the window with Melina. The machine activates and releases oxygen just before Quaid and Melina die. The oxygen also reaches the people of Venusville just before they completely ran out of oxygen.
  • While looking up at the new, blue Martian skies, Quaid wonders if everything he experienced was just a dream.
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