From the mind that brought us Westworld, Lisa Joy's first narrative feature film is a neo-noir and sci-fi concoction. The ideas may be there but Reminiscence massively suffers from a slow pace, which renders this to be dull and tiresome.
Written by Elliot Lines
Reminiscence follows Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman) a detective of the mind, literally. When a new client Mae (Rebecca Ferguson) comes into his path his world changes, a new customer that becomes an obsession in the fight for the truth about who this woman may be.
Set in a dystopian Miami where rising water levels have ravaged the city brought Blade Runner vibes to the overall feel to the film. This type of setting is nothing new, and to make interesting is difficult, but there was certainly something to this. You can see the vision in the production design, which throughout makes for some stunning imagery. The setting is used to aid a story, but the film manages to get bogged down beneath the waves of its own ambition.
There is an air of Minority Report to the story, this machine that can look into peoples lives. Unfortunately there is a repetitive feel to the events that transpire, the film never grips hold of your interest. There is a 10 minute spell in the middle where you feel as though Reminiscence may ramp up to something more, only to come back down into it's snail paced norm. Even though the pacing suffers, it still feels like there are too many ideas being crammed into a feature film. The cracks appear to be showing in the transition between TV and film, where you certainly have more time to get your ideas to the screen in the television world.
There is not enough in the characters of Nick and Mae to make you care for what they're going through, with the pace being one component that helps with that disinterest.
Jackman and Ferguson are A-listers, but it is a struggle to see this here. Now their performances aren't bad, they've just been dealt a bad hand. The dialogue is almost draining, there is a repetitive nature to it which doesn't aid the story in any way. Their connection feels rushed, there is no build up, and any attempt to do this feels lost and unconnected.
You can see the potential vision in Lisa Joy's film making, with some impressive visuals throughout. Reminiscence lacks in the story telling department and never engages its audience, making this a snail paced dull viewing experience.