Reminiscence Movie Review: Hugh Jackman’s New Film Is A Slow And Serious Christopher Nolan Imitation | Hollywood


Is Warner Bros so desperate to stay in the Christopher Nolan business that he’s willing to give the green light even to his friends and family’s long-distance locations? The studio has done it before, when it splurged unreasonably on deadly dull transcendence, directed by longtime Nolan cinematographer Wally Pfister. The ominously sounding reminiscence, directed by Nolan’s sister-in-law, Lisa Joy, also involves major gadgets, but it’s not as terrible as this movie.

A mishmash of genres and tones, Reminiscence commits the cardinal sin of being so uninteresting that it invite the viewer fondly remembering older films that he brazenly snatches. Ironically, it also works as a description of the film’s central premise.

Watch the Reminiscence trailer here:

In a future world where coastal towns have been partially submerged and people have adopted a nightlife lifestyle because the day is too hot to function, war veteran Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman) runs a skeevy business through which paying customers can revisit past memories in an offering to escape the harsh realities of the world. Nick’s clients come in all shapes and sizes – some just want to relive old love stories, while others want to remember what it was like to have members.

He is visited one day by a femme fatale. There is no other way to describe it. As bursts of light penetrate through the venetian blinds in Nick’s office and the silhouette of Rebecca Ferguson wanders around, you begin to wonder if the film is laughing at your expense with its film noir references on its nose. This lady has a hard time writing about her, and Nick’s brain is too fuzzy to notice.

Her name is Mae, she looks like Kathleen Turner and dresses like Lola Bunny. Could Nick help her find her lost keys? It wouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Of course he would.

There are some interesting ideas at play here, but Joy’s cinema is just … joyless. Whether or not this was the result of endless studio tampering, I don’t know, but it feels like entire scenes have been hijacked for the sole purpose of making the core mechanics of the tech more accessible. It’s not only unnecessary, but also deeply irritating to watch.

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Hugh Jackman, left, and Rebecca Ferguson in a scene from Reminiscence. (AP)

Reminiscence is the kind of movie where the characters say things like “It’s been 12 hours!” and “For months you’ve been hitting the tank, reliving every memory you’ve had with it,” to people who know exactly how long it’s been and who are fully aware of the endless existential spiral they are trapped in. . But thanks for Let us know, movie. If only I could bring myself to worry about all of this.

A joint adjacent to Nolan wouldn’t be a joint adjacent to Nolan without some bad dialogue, and Reminiscence has that in spades. On top of that, Jackman does a Blade Runner inspired voiceover that starts off pretentiously and ends up unintentionally becoming humorous. Speaking of spades, Jackman is doing a Humphrey Bogart here. He is now old enough to reliably sell screen regrets. His signature frown is more pronounced, as are his facial lines, and to the credit of Joy and her cinematographer Paul Cameron, they rely heavily on Jackman’s weathered face to do a lot of emotional work, because certainly, the plot is not of service to anyone.

It involves corruption, deception, and moral dilemmas – all black staples – but Joy’s storyline relies so heavily on gender tropes (Nick even does Jake Gittes cosplay in one scene) as the dystopian setting of the film (and its environmentalism) comes across as an afterthought. Come to think of it, the futuristic Miami in the film adds nothing to the experience, other than, perhaps, a certain atmosphere.

The reminiscence hinges on a romantic relationship that is never truly established, removing any chance of the audience being invested in Nick’s journey, and an inherently flawed central premise that crumbles on the slightest examination. If the future is really so bad that it makes people want to live in the past, then that only applies to middle-aged uncles and aunts who are mature enough to remember the good old days. In 10 years, this technology would become obsolete, as people with purchasing power would have grown in dystopia, with no time before to review.

Also read: Tenet Movie Review: Christopher Nolan’s New Movie Is Both Underwhelming And Heartwarming

It’s always a good sign when studios are willing to take risks with expensive original ideas, but Reminiscence is hardly original. It’s at best a revamp of proven formulas, and at worst, it looks like something a bot threw up after being force-fed with every Nolan script for breakfast.


Director – Lisa Joy

To throw – Hugh Jackman, Thandiwe Newton, Rebecca Ferguson, Cliff Curtis

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The author tweets @RohanNaahar

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