Movie review: You’ve seen it all in ‘Reminiscence’ | Movie reviews

Trying to find a way to best describe “Reminiscence,” the new sci-fi thriller from Warner Brothers, I think Yogi Berra said it best: “It’s déjà vu again. “

There is a common theory that there are really only seven types of original stories, and every book, movie, TV show, play, or other fictional story of the past thousands of years is just a variation of one of these stories. It’s all in the specific details that make them unique.

But too often in Hollywood a movie will come out that at first glance seems like a sure hit that inevitably does little more than a splash as it doesn’t offer anything new or different from other top movies we’ve seen before. .

This is the case with “Reminiscence”, which tries to be a genre mix between a dystopian sci-fi thriller and 1940s noir mystery films, but ends up making me want to watch other, better movies than this one takes so much inspiration. While this is by no means a horrible movie, it is more of a disappointment because there is such a poor effort to display.

In the near future, where climate change has caused sea levels and temperatures to rise, Nick Bannister (played by Hugh Jackman) is a minded private investigator who works with his assistant Emily “Watts” Sanders (Thandiwe Newton) as part of contract work for the Miami Attorney’s Office. In his work, Nick navigates the dark and alluring world of the past, helping his clients access lost memories through a machine called reminiscence. One day his life is changed forever when he takes on a new client, Mae (Rebecca Ferguson), and a simple matter of the lost and found becomes a dangerous obsession.

After Mae suddenly disappears one day, Bannister must trace the past through his memories and the people Mae knew to uncover the truth of his disappearance. But along the way, he discovers a violent conspiracy that could change his future and all of Miami forever.

While the movie doesn’t have much new or interesting in the plot area, the look and feel of the production is excellent. This combination of near-future dystopia and nostalgic mid-century modern aesthetics helps make the world familiar enough to our nostalgia, but weird and unsettling enough to make us feel uncomfortable and on edge.

The most important factor in trying to sell this movie to the public is to remind them what it looks like, and it comes from writer / director Lisa Joy, writer, producer and director of “Westworld” on HBO with her husband Jonathan Nolan , the brother of famous director Christopher Nolan. While there is a lot of awesome world-building and a strong atmosphere, it mostly comes across as an inferior attempt to a Christopher Nolan movie.

Fortunately, there is a solid cast to help move the story forward and give audiences someone pretty to watch. Jackman, while not giving a great performance, has enough skill as an actor that he doesn’t look bad. At the very least, her voice is perfect for the clichéd 1940s noir storytelling that runs through the entire movie.

Meanwhile, Newton is perfect as a best friend and partner in the business, remaining the realist and the person to make sense of Jackman when all he wants is to relive his memories and lose himself in the process. machine. On the other side is Ferguson who, like Jackman, is an actress talented enough to sell Mae’s supposed complexity even though she is a familiar archetype.

Despite the familiar plot points and characters, “Reminiscence” manages to ask interesting questions and explore an in-depth topic, which I would expect nothing less from any of the “Westworld” showrunners. There is a fascinating duality throughout the battles for domination, such as black elements coexisting with future technology, the rich against the poor, and even natural Americans against immigrants.

But in the end, none of it really stands out or sticks to the audience. Just like in the movie, memories and familiar scenes can only make an impression, but cannot resist something real. “Reminiscence” gives us that nostalgic feeling for two hours, then it’s gone and probably forgotten.

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