Is the Warner Bros Co. so desperate to stay in business with Christopher Nolan. That he’s prepared to explain even to the bottom drawer of his friends and family? The studio had done this before when it threw an absurd amount.
On the tedious and deadly Transcendence, staged by Nolan’s longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister. The Remaniscence-like sound, performed by Nolan’s daughter-in-law, Lisa Joy, also involves major deception.
But it’s not as scary as it was in this film.
Reminiscence, a mix of genres and tones, commits the primary sin. Of being so uninteresting that it essentially invites audiences to recall the old films they boldly ripped apart. Ironically, it also serves as a description of the film’s central premise.
In a future world where coastal cities are partially submerged. The people have adopted a nocturnal lifestyle because the days are too hot to function. The war veteran Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman) runs a shop.
Where paying customers have memories of the past rethinking the world’s harsh realities in an escape bid. Nick’s clients are coming in all shapes and sizes. Some want to experience an old love affair while others want to remember what it’s like to have limbs.
One day he is visited by a deadly woman. There is no other way to describe it. As a ray of light streams through the curtains in Nick’s office and the silhouette of Rebecca Ferguson enters. One begins to wonder if the film isn’t laughing at its fees with its film noir referees. This woman has problems written all over her, and Nick’s brain is too fuzzy to notice.
Her name is May, and she sounds like Kathleen Turner, and she dresses like Lola Bunny. Will you help Nick find his lost key? It won’t take more than a few minutes. Of course.
Exciting ideas are at stake here, but the filming of Joy is just devoid of excitement.
Whether this is the result of endless fakes in the studio. I don’t know, but there’s a feeling that the entire scene is obscured for the sole purpose of making. The basic mechanics of the technology more accessible. This is not only unnecessary but also very annoying to look at.
Reminiscence is the kind of movie where the characters say things like, “It’s been 12 hours!” And “you’ve been hitting the tank for months and reliving every memory you have with it” from people who know exactly how much time you have passed and are fully aware of the infinite existential spiral in which they are trapped. But thanks for telling us, film. I wish I could take care of all this.
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The area next to Nolan wouldn’t be next to Nolan’s without lousy dialogue, and Reminiscence has it at its peak. On top of that, he got Jackman to create a Blade Runner-inspired soundtrack that starts with overly pretentious eyes and ends up being inadvertently hilarious.
Speaking of spades, Jackman does Humphrey Bogart here. He’s old enough to sell compassion reliably on screen. The markings are more precise, as are the lines on his face. Out of respect for Joy and her cameraman Paul Cameron, they rely heavily on Jackman’s weathered face for a very emotional gravity because the plot is certainly not me to help someone out.
It involves corruption, deception, and moral violence – all elements of noir.
But Joy’s script relies heavily on genre tropes (Nick even cosplays Jake Gits in one scene). That the film’s anti-utopian stance (and environmental awareness) manifests as an idea. If you really think about it, the futuristic Miami from the movies. It doesn’t add anything to the experience, except maybe the ambience.
Memories hinge on a love affair that never forms, thus eliminating the possibility of an audience invested in Nick’s journey, essentially on a flawed central premise that collapses under the slightest control.
If the future is terrible enough to feel like living in the past, that only applies to middle-aged uncles and aunts who are mature enough to remember the good old days. This technology will be obsolete in 10 years because the rich will grow up in an unrevised anti-utopia before the Times.
It’s always a good sign when a studio is willing to take a risk with an expensive original idea. But Reminiscence is hardly original. At best, it’s a revision of the tried and true formula. And at worst, it looks like something tilted after being forced to eat Nolan’s breakfast script.