Written and Directed by Lisa Joy
Starring Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson, Thandwie Newton, Cliff Curtis, Daniel Wu, Angela Sarafyan
Lisa Joy is an integral part of the reincarnation of Westworld on HBO. Reminiscence is an idea she had before ever getting involved with husband Jonathan Nolan on the show. A mix of film noir with the mind-bending enterprise of action we’ve come to expect from Joy, we have something that doesn’t excel at either, but fills our time well enough.
In a future of Miami and New Orleans, where both have become used to an existence half covered in water, Nick Bannister (Jackman) works with Emily (Newton) as navigators of people’s past: sometimes for pleasure, other times for investigation. Into their lives walks Mae (Ferguson) as someone who needs help finding her keys. These are found soon enough, but not before Nick is caught up with the mysterious chanteuse.
They strike up a relationship, and before long, we discover that she’s been gone and Nick has been mining his own memories to find out why. This leads Nick and Emily into a bigger mystery.
The problem is, the mystery isn’t all that big. It boils down to something so small, it can’t help but disappoint. Fortunately, there is a decent amount of character development between the three leads to give us something to feel along the way.
The logic behind our waterlogged future, in which buildings stay erect and with power even though their lower halves have been submerged, doesn’t really ring true when one ponders the condominium that just collapsed in Miami earlier in the summer. There are hints to a border war fought sometime in the past. This doesn’t really do service to the plot in any interesting way.
Still, the cinematography is involved, the sets are appropriately dark, the actors are good, and the film does not overstay it’s welcome. Also, it’s fun to see Cliff Curtis play something beyond a well meaning but clueless nice guy.
If you’re a fan of noir and not real particular, this will be a nice, inessential way to pass the time.
(*** out of *****)