Reminiscence Review

Nostalgia. We all at times think back to a time in our past. We think back to the good memories. The ones we want to cherish forever. It is said of course that we should never dwell on our past, but to always look towards the future. What if though? What if there was a machine, a machine that would allow you to re-live those good memories. Would you ever want to look towards the future? Would you re-live those good memories over and over again on repeat?

Reminiscence, a film written, directed, and produced by Lisa Joy (of Westworld fame) in her directorial debut, explores themes of memories. In the not so distant future, the oceans have risen around the globe, which had caused another World War. People have nothing left to look forward to, so they re-live good memories from the past through a specialized memory machine.

Nick (Hugh Jackman) and Watts (Thandiwe Newton) run a small company that allow people to re-live their good memories through a specialized machine. Things take a turn when a woman by the name of Mae (Rebecca Ferguson) comes in to use the machine to find her lost set of keys. Nick and Mae fall in love, only for Mae to later mysteriously disappear. In Nick’s search for Mae, he uses his specialization in helping people recall memories to interrogate people that have interacted with her.

Hugh Jackman as Nick and Thandiwe Newton as Watts

The performances by Hugh Jackman, Thandiwe Newton, and Rebecca Ferguson are absolutely amazing in this film. All three of them clearly brought in their “A” game in this film. Hugh Jackman was very convincing in his depiction of a Nick, a desperate man in search for the love of his life. At times Nick resorts to violence and his use of memory extraction to interrogate any person that has come in contact with Mae. Thandiwe Newton also gives an excellent performance as Watts, trying to get Nick to stop reminiscing about the past, and to look towards the future.

The performances by Hugh Jackman, Thandiwe Newton, and Rebecca Ferguson are absolutely amazing in this film.

Wizzard on Reminiscence
Rebecca Ferguson as Mae and Hugh Jackman as Nick

The issue I have with this film is that it has been seen before. I mean, we have seen films that talk about dreams and memories, and most of the film plays out just like Inception and Total Recall. The scenes that we see of the city look like something out of Blade Runner. These are all things we have seen, and it looked like Lisa Joy had a good idea to start with but in the end went the safe route with this film. I would have preferred to see something completely new and bold in Lisa Joy’s directorial debut.

it looked like Lisa Joy had a good idea to start with but in the end went the safe route…

Wizzard on Reminiscence

What do I like about this film? The exploration of memories and the thought of what it would be like to be able to re-live those good memories over and over again. That theme was something that got me intrigued about the film in the first place, but in the end, it turned into another science fiction film we had seen before in years past. Reminiscence is in theaters now and streaming on HBO Max.

My recommendation: Watchable, but don’t go out of your way to see it.

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