As the 21st century draws to a close, Earth has been devastated by chemical warfare and only two territories remain: the United Federation of Britain (UFB) and a pseudo-Australia named The Colony.
To escape the morose world, a company known as Rekall brightens up the lives of its customers by implanting fake memories. One client - factory worker Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) - takes on a fabricated memory-bank that reinvents him as a spy. However, when he suddenly and inexplicably becomes a hunted man, the line between his true memories and his purchased history are dangerously muddied. With the help of beautiful Melina (Jessica Biel), a woman he recognises from his dreams, he starts to piece together the reality in which he exists, and exposes a conspiracy that goes all the way up to the untrustworthy chancellor of the UFB (Bryan Cranston).
This slick sci-fi adventure goes right back to Philip K Dick's stunning short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale for its source material, bypassing the 1990 adaptation in an effort to avoid comparison. Such is the cult love for Arnie's Quaid, though, that such comparisons were inevitable, and the earlier effort probably comes out on top. What the tale does have is dazzling production design and stunning visuals which, coupled with good performances from Farrell and Biel, in particular, make for enthralling viewing.