In the not too distant future, Reminiscence is set in a growing dystopian world where cities are becoming flooded and people can access their memories for comfort, interrogation or simply for the age old annoyance of loosing their keys.
Ex veteran, Nick (Hugh Jackman) has made a business out of helping people delve into the depths of their memories and is reunited with Greatest Showman co-star, Rebecca Ferguson, Mae when she needs to retrace her steps. An instant connection results in a passionate love affair between Nick and Mae which is cut short when she disappears.
The film sways between real-time and memories which mostly come from Nick as we discover that he himself has become addicted to using his own machine to relive his time with Mae. This way of storytelling keeps the film interesting and pushes the plot along while Nick tries to find his former lover. At times, parts were just a little too convenient – seemingly unimportant moments early on in the film ended up having huge impacts towards the end and it just so happened that intricate characters all had connections to Nick, giving him the access he needed to move further on in his mission.
This also goes for the unnecessary inclusion of the state of the planet. This really only had one bear upon the film during a scene between Nick and villainous Cyrus Boothe (Cliff Curtis). Although, that scene was brilliantly executed and provided some intense action for Hugh to sink his teeth into.
There is a clear message here that while there is comfort in the past, it’s not a healthy place to rest your mind. While I’m sure many of us would jump at the chance to revisit a special person or moment in time, this really didn’t have any positive ramifications for the characters who did. That message is enforced further through Nick’s colleague/ friend/secret crush, Watts (Thandie Newton) who takes steps to improve her future. Of course, Hugh Jackman is great throughout the whole film, but Thandie really is the highlight of the cast for me.
It merges a few different genres which perhaps sets it aside from other similar sci-fi films. You can sense the connection to Westworld due to this being directed by it’s co-creator, Lisa Joy. And just like with Westworld, while parts of this can become a little confusing, Reminiscence does make for a good film which has some interesting twists and turns..