Reminiscence is a film that blends the genres of mystery, romance and sci-fi with an adept premise. It has all the fundamentals to be spellbinding, but it tries too hard to make the suspenseful situations even more so, and the film becomes messy and fragmented as it progresses.
Reminiscence is set in New Orleans and Miami. The main character, played by Hugh Jackman, is Nick Bannister, a unique type of private investigator who uses brain activity software to help people sort through their memories and revisit past portions of their lives. His clients are in a tank with a brain-therapy attachment, and Nick can visually see their memories. Nick’s assistant is Emily ‘Watts’ Sanders, played by Thandiwe Newton.
Life changes for Nick as he becomes obsessed about former client Mae, played by Rebecca Ferguson. Nick revisits his own memories to try to track Mae down, which soon leads on a dark path of disturbing secrets, gangs, and allies that endanger Nick’s life, and maybe even Mae’s.
Unfortunately, when Nick starts on his quest to find Mae, the film just gets confusing. Reminiscence jumps weird hurdles of different past and present moments between Nick and Mae, some with Nick individually and some with Mae individually. The disorganized, non-chronological puzzle was not appealing, and I found myself wondering whether a particular scene had happened yet or not, and how certain events were relevant.
Director Lisa Joy does get credit for the futuristic setting of Reminiscence. She previously wrote, produced, and directed Westworld for HBO, which was more intriguing than Reminiscence. But again, the scenery as well as the choice of locations in Reminiscence was excellent.
Reminiscence has a careful, steady pace in the beginning, but as the film goes deeper the storyline is just out of focus, the confusion begins, and the plot also becomes dry. The futuristic aspect is intriguing, but the film could have been much stronger. I give Reminiscence 2.5 stars.