Reminiscence (2021) Movie Review: Narration heavy and just… fine

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Reminiscence was released in U.S. cinemas and on HBO Max on August 20, 2021. The film currently holds a 40% on Rotten Tomatoes, with 77 reviews from critics. The movie is written and directed by Lisa Joy and stars Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson.

Reminiscence follows Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman), who discovers new technology that allows people to relive their past. After taking on a new client named Mae (Rebecca Ferguson), he becomes obsessed with his own past and uncovers a secret that changes everything.

The Good:

Reminiscence provides a pretty interesting, thought-provoking concept. While originally, I thought it was going to be a knockoff of Inception based on the trailer, it really went in its own direction. Yes, some of the fundamental ideas are the same, but instead of implanting ideas through people’s dreams, Reminiscence only searches through the past.

© 2021 Warner Bros.

Coinciding with the concept, the actual elemental mystery spotlighted in this film was really intriguing. It featured the typical missing person case, but was able to twist it in a different direction due to Jackman’s character actually being able to relive the past to find out the answer. The movie consistently reminds that audience that while we are haunted by the past, the past is also haunted by us.

“We’re all haunted by something”

The final positive element of this film was the action sequences (though there weren’t many). Within these fights were some really amazing moments of cinematography and choreography that brought the few instances of action that were present alive.

The Bad:

While Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson have decent on-screen chemistry, their performances were nothing special. There weren’t many moments that really stood out to me and as a result, I didn’t really care about their characters that much.

© 2021 Warner Bros.

The GIGANTIC issue that I had with Reminiscence was its insistence on overusing narration. During the first 15 minutes of the film, I would say about one-third was Jackman giving the audience expositive narration about the current state of the world. This is a movie… so rather than telling us all of this information, they could have found a much more effective way to visually show us. Along with that, the narration continued throughout the film, but very inconsistently. It was almost non-existent after the first 15 minutes, except for the middle and the end, where it randomly spiked up.

This narration wasn’t really effective at all to me. One example of perfect narration is from Birds of Prey. This only worked in that movie because Harley Quinn is such a bizarre and whacky character, so her narration actually added to her personality. In the case of Reminiscence; however, it is simply just monotonous narration from Jackman that could have been replaced by visual storytelling.

Finally, the ending of Reminiscence didn’t fulfill its full potential. It wrapped the story up, but it wasn’t really satisfying. To me, it felt as if they played it safe, rather than going in a more bold direction.

Final Verdict:

The only thing I can really say about Reminiscence is that it was… fine.

If you have HBO Max, then go ahead and check it out, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that you spend extra money to go see it in theaters.

Rating: 5 out of 10 on the scale of awesomeness!

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Thank you so much for reading my review of Reminiscence! Let me know what you thought of the film in the comments and as always…

CINEMA LOVERS UNITE!

Follow me on Twitter @KevinsFilmRevi1 or on Instagram @kevinfilmreviews.

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