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This cast is full of talented actors that have all proven their acting chops in previous projects. Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson, and Thandiwe Newton are all actors that I have enjoyed watching in the past and I enjoyed watching them in this too, I just wish the film they are in was better. Reminiscence had potential for sure and the plot presents an interesting story, but the script is just too weak to make this worthwhile. The cast tries their best and there are multiple scenes that are well done but I’d suggest skipping this one and searching within this genre for something with a stronger foundation.
Hugh Jackman has a strong status as a leading man and his name on a poster is appealing for sure, but he needs to get himself in some stronger films. He needs to get back to something like Prisoners. The last film of his I saw was The Greatest Showman, which I was significantly disappointed in. While I wasn’t as let down by Reminiscence, I definitely felt it fumbled an opportunity to be a lot better.
Jackman does a serviceable job as the film’s lead. I wouldn’t say this is one of his best performances but he certainly wasn’t bad. I did think he was a little too aggressive in several scenes though, he does this really intense frowning when he plays upset or angry and it gets kind of old. I also didn’t have much care or feeling for his character, but that’s also due to the script not really giving us much of a reason to care about him.
Rebecca Ferguson also does a serviceable job as the mysterious muse that saunters into Jackman’s life. Again, while she isn’t bad, I didn’t have much care for her character either. The script just really doesn’t support either Jackman or Ferguson. I felt the only one that stood out here was Newton as Jackman’s longtime associate and friend.
Newton is the only one who gives a performance here that isn’t just serviceable, but it is exceptional. She makes us care about her character in a way that we don’t for any other character. The script also does a better job at making her a person of substance than it does with Jackman or Ferguson. The story on its face is a rather intriguing one but unfortunately the way it plays out onscreen just doesn’t resonate. This kind of story should have us on the edge of our seat and also deeply invested in the leads’ relationship. I was neither on the edge of my seat or invested in the romance between Jackman and Ferguson.
For one thing, I felt the relationship between these two just wasn’t built up to the level that it should’ve been in order for us to reach the point of being invested. The romance that’s presented to us is honestly pretty stale and by the numbers, certainly nothing strong enough to be a major theme of the film. As far as the mystery/thriller aspect goes, that is also fairly by the numbers I’m afraid. There are “twists” I suppose but I didn’t find them to be anything all too interesting or shocking. The plot twists here are meet with a reaction of “Oh ok, sure”.
The final act is for sure the best part and contains the most entertaining scenes. Unfortunately, because the film doesn’t provide us with equally interesting material before that point, the final act doesn’t pack nearly as heavy a punch as it could have. Some have said that the visual effects are cool to look at, and while I don’t think they’re bad, I wouldn’t say they stand out. It’s not like the visuals are so good they outshine the script’s problems. This film doesn’t earn a recommendation from me but I do hope to see Thandiwe Newton in more films because in my opinion she’s the best thing Reminiscence has to offer.
Reminiscence sports a talented cast but is ultimately weighed down by a weak script. Oh well, at least I got to look at the ever magnetic Hugh Jackman….
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