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Review: Reminiscence (2021)

5 Star.png
5 Star.png

#Cinema, #Film, #movie review

David North-Martino

Aug 21, 2021

Review: Reminiscence (2021)

Billed as a neo-noir science fiction thriller, Reminiscence is equally a dystopian science fiction romance mystery. If that sounds convoluted… it is. 

Lisa Joy is best known for directing HBO’s Westworld and it’s not surprising that her debut feature has the look and feel of a TV movie. 

In a flooded Miami, Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman-The Prestige, Logan) and his partner Watts (Thandiwe Newton-Mission Impossible 2, The Pursuit of Happiness) run a place where clients can relive their happiest memories while assisting the police and the DA with cases on the side. They were also both vets of some past war. So, they can kick ass when the script calls for it.  

In walks Mae, (Rebecca Ferguson-Mission Impossible: Fall Out, Doctor Sleep) a beautiful woman who needs Bannister's help. The rest of the movie plays out like a Sam Spade novel with Bannister helping the police while playing amateur private investigator.   

This film is filled with talented actors who are terribly miscast. I never believed in the characters or the world in which they exist. The story becomes more convoluted as it goes on. 

I’m sorry to say Ferguson shouldn’t sing. She’s not bad, just not good enough to spellbind the audience like she does Bannister. At times, her performance becomes unintentionally comical. That’s a shame since she’s truly great when playing to her strengths. 

Bannister’s journey to uncover the mystery comes across as silly and sometimes preposterous. There’s not much here that’s believable. 

The whole proceedings seem like a low-rent Inception (2010). Disappointing when you have such talent on and off-screen. 

This wouldn’t be so bad if the pacing weren’t glacial, and the story wasn’t dreary. There’s plenty of water in this picture, but not a drop of fun to be had. 

Reminiscence is in theaters now and streaming on HBO Max.  

Story Doctoring: 

Ramping up the action and developing Mae and Bannister's connection would help this film immensely. Removing the noir elements and playing this like an early 90s action thriller with some comedy to break up the heaviness would be welcomed. 


Two stars out of five. 


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