It is almost an insult when a film with an intriguing premise turns out to be as dull as dishwater.
Hugh Jackman’s days of playing superheroes are over until Disney decides to pay him eight figures to come back. For now, he is testing the waters in a film that is all about obsession with the past. The film, if it was actually smart and thought-provoking, would be a metaphor for society’s obsession with dragging up slices of the past in order to cope with the mundane and depressing reality of the present.
Instead, what we receive is a weak neo-noir with a science-fiction element that the film bungles within its first 20 minutes.
When one person is listed as the writer, producer, and director of a motion picture, then there is only one person to blame for a movie’s failures. Lisa Joy, who had never worked on a feature film, got the job from Warner Bros. based on her work co-creating the hit HBO show “Westworld.” But success in television doesn’t always translate into films.
Joy attempts to recreate as much of her “Westworld” magic as possible in a near post-apocalyptic environment. She even brings “Westworld” actress Newton to create as much familiarity as possible. Where “Reminiscence” goes wrong is trying to balance many genres and never perfecting one. The result is a film that is joyless and boring.
Veteran actors Jackman and Newton’s performances are wasted in a film that doesn’t even care about its own mystery. Nick is obsessed with reuniting with a woman he only knows via memories and even other characters become infuriated with Nick’s quest.
In a world based on climate change, “Reminiscence” doesn’t have the clean energy to keep its steam from start to finish. Director Joy stacks the deck in front of the camera, but behind it turns the film into a meaningless misfire.