HOLLYWOOD—If you could re-live your past memories over and over again would that be something of interest to you? That is the age old question the thriller “Reminiscence” presents to the audience. Intriguing? Without a doubt, but just because you have the concept in play doesn’t mean the story aligns with the idea. Something I’m going to give this flick is that it is absolutely visually stunning.
The imagery, the immersive element of Miami that is flooded by water as a result of climate control where it appears everyone is living above ground level. However, the story is a bit convoluted and it took a bit of time for it to grab my attention to the tune of about 45 minutes. Why do you say? Well it feels like the audience is immediately thrown into this chaos without a hint as to what is going on. I mean Hugh Jackman’s character Nick Bannister is partaking in this immersive experience where he is nearly naked in a tube of water where he gets to relive memories from his past.
By his side is his colleague Emily “Watts” Sanders (Thandie Newton). Watts can sense her pal is becoming a bit obsessed with their invention. His obsession is so strong she warns him that he is traveling down a very dangerous path, one that he ignores even though he is countlessly warned. Nick has a chance encounter with a stranger, Mae (Rebecca Ferguson), who is fantastic in this role. I think Rebecca Ferguson is a fantastic actress, and this woman no matter what movie, she immerses herself fully into the role and just captivates the audience.
Ferguson does that again with Mae, a mysterious character, who the audience thinks they know, but we really don’t know her. She has secrets and those secrets kickoff in a mystery that is NOT as thrilling when it first kicks off. Things take a bit of time to get moving. We hear about a woman being killed, a child missing and this desperate need for Nick to connect these dots at all cost.
Jackman was playing Hugh Jackman in my opinion. I did not feel this epic range of character from the actor in this role where it felt like he portrayed the same character I’ve seen him play in various movies in his career, just looking slightly different depending on the film. There is a drug element to the flick that just seems far-fetched, where the script attempts to tie in to the mystery, but it made absolutely no sense to me.
First act is not so great, the second act starts to move things in the right direction, but it’s the third act that propels “Reminiscence” to gripping cinema. There is an amazing fight sequence between Nick and the big bad, Cyrus Boothe portrayed with pure perfection by Cliff Curtis. We start to see the dots connected to the puzzle and then everything because crystal clear.
The satisfying third act doesn’t make up the shaky first act, and the somewhat boring second act. When I first saw the trailer to “Reminiscence” I thought it was a science fiction flick, but watching the film it became clear it was more of a mystery, and that did not bother me, I just wish that was the moniker the film pushed as its narrative to start.