The future world has forever changed and Miami is permanently flooded. Night is when the city really comes alive, and daytime is filled with emptiness and hardly anyone walking around. The film introduces Nick (Hugh Jackman), a man who limps on one leg due to fighting in many wars.
In the present day, Nick, along with his long-time friend played by actress Thandiwe Newton, make money by allowing people to use their Reminiscence machine. The Reminiscence machine allows people to revisit memories from their past as often as they like as long as they pay the fee. Because the world is filled with suffering and pain, many people would much prefer to look back in life rather than look forward. Using the Reminiscence also helps to put criminals behind bars and keeps justice and peace alive in Miami.
Life for Nick is simple until he meets a new client named Mae (Rebecca Ferguson). Mae wishes to hire the use of Reminiscence so she can locate her keys. But for Nick, he falls in love with her harder tan anyone he’s ever met before. A romance between the two begins but soon, out of nowhere, Mae vanishes! Now Nick conducts his very own investigation to find out where she is and what happened to her.
The look of this film is incredible. It’s visually stunning and pleasing, especially when it comes to the look of Miami and the futuristic elements that come with it. Visual effects and the creative aspects are fun, and I generally enjoyed the concept of the Reminiscence machine as well as the other gadgets that surround it.
The performance from Hugh Jackman is another solid strength for this film, and it’s no surprise that the actor delivers as per usual, even when the lead’s actions are not always agreeable. The side performance from Rebecca Ferguson was also great, and she brings a character to life that is filled with mystery and beauty. Thandiwe Newton as Nick’s best friend brought some fun moments and attempted humour with quirky one-liners, which worked well for most of the film.
Reminiscence isn’t just a sci-fi film; it’s also a thriller that reminded me of older classics. It had a strong detective noir vibe, with the lead character consistently questioning himself and giving full descriptions of his thoughts through narration.
I enjoyed plenty of aspects here, but a few minor details certainly held this mysterious film back. Elements such as the narration from the lead himself can at times feel cheesy and forced. The film’s mystery is certainly a good one, but it’s not a mystery that had me on the edge of my seat or overly invested; it’s just a good story. This could also perhaps be because the introduction of the romance earlier in the film is somewhat brief and lacked my general investment. No matter, the mystery kept me highly engaged for the full duration, and viewers will want to know the truth. At times, the film moves at a slow pace, and some reveals are predictable and, again, not overly exciting as I hoped. Despite all of these small factors, it is still enjoyable.
Overall, I truly enjoyed the majority of this film. The general look of the future and Miami being flooded are just some examples, along with the concept of the Reminiscence machine. Hugh Jackman is once again great on-screen. This lead character conducts a neo-noir style investigation, narrating his thoughts and moves. But while being quite enjoyable, some minor issues hold the film back ever so slightly, including moments of forced narration, rushed romance, predictability, and certain reveals that feel smaller than what I expected. I had a great time with this film, and it’s certainly a satisfying thriller with strong leading performances and solid visuals. Reminiscence (2021) is Now Showing in Australian Cinemas.