Nicolas Bannister (Hugh Jackman), a rugged and solitary veteran living in a near-future Miami flooded by rising seas, is an expert in a dangerous occupation: he offers clients the chance to relive any memory they desire. His life changes when he meets a mysterious young woman named Mae. What begins as a simple matter of lost and found becomes a passionate love affair? But when a different client’s memories implicate Mae in a series of violent crimes, Bannister must delve through the dark world of the past to uncover the truth about the woman he fell for.
REMINISCENCE is a satisfying, well-told science fiction story with some intriguing themes.
Hugh Jackman is perfectly cast as the troubled Nicolas Bannister who persists in solving the mystery raised by one of his client’s memories (Mae played expertly by Rebecca Ferguson) who also gives a memorable performance. The supporting cast are also good, but Jackman is the central figure that gives solid strength to the movie.
The story is cleverly structured as the pieces of the mystery fall into place. The special effects are used when necessary to tell the story, but that’s all. REMINISCENCE relies on narrative, characters, and themes to keep us interested. There are also some stunning fight scenes that contribute to the mystery rather than being included merely for entertaining. That’s refreshing!
The movie is set in the near future and, while this context isn’t central to the story, the portrayal of the effects of climate change on the environment of a large city are disturbing.
But climate change is not the main point of the movie. It is an exploration of memory and how trying to hang on to desperately hang on to some memories can lead us down a rabbit hole.
REMINISCENCE is an impressive directorial debut for Lisa Joy. Here work as producer on the Westworld TV series has obviously been good preparation for REMINISCENCE. I’ll be looking out for her future movies!
If you’re looking for a good sci-fi movie with some depth, check out REMINISCENCE.
(In cinemas in Australia – check your movie guide for your local show times.)