It’s a case that’s worthy of the distinction of being labeled as a neo-noir, and right now, we’re about to break it wide open and sift through the particulars. Using the memory of this moment, Nick and Watts learn that the assailant was Boothe, the dirty cop who once worked with Saint Joe. However, Walter appears to be in love with Elsa, and the two of them have a child – Freddie. Given Freddie is Walter’s bastard son, he can legally claim an inheritance, and Sabastian does not want this. Saint Joe is a drug lord who was once a refugee left for dead in a camp that flooded due to the levee breaking open. He’s a wanted man, and the authorities are looking for evidence to arrest him as they suspect Joe is expanding his drug business to Miami.
To figure out where Mae went, he finds Cyrus, a dirty cop-turned-henchman who has popped up in various memories. Through the memory hunting, he discovers that she used to be a drug addict living in New Orleans, and he goes there to see if she returned. Instead, he finds a drug dealer named Saint Joe with a chip on his shoulder and they have a near-fatal fight – only for Watts to come to his rescue. In the loser geek whatever ‘present’, Mae has vanished and Nick is haunted by her absence. He begins to try and track her down but Watts is worried about him and their struggling business – even their regular Elsa hasn’t come to relive her memory with her old-man lover. Unbearable heat has led to a mostly nocturnal population, who make their meagre livings in bars and shops navigated by boats along streets that are now rivers.
Nick hit the tank addictively to relive the memories he had with Mae. The question “why did she leave” kept haunting him for days until he finally found a clue. The film presents this as an ending that at least gives the main character some semblance of what he wants. Instead of leaving the Underworld, Nick chooses to stay looking back at Mae for eternity, trapping himself in the moments before she’s lost to him forever. This includes leading him on a journey to his worst memory that ended with him getting lit on fire, explaining the scars we’ve seen across his head from earlier in the film.
She reaches out to Nick’s fellowman to learn a lot about his past. She purposefully stages losing her keys and approaches Nick asking for help to find them using the Reminiscence machine. Mae’s plan was to seduce Nick, gain his confidence and finally steal Elsa’s recordings. However, she falls in love with Nick and can’t get herself to steal from him. Boothe realizes this and threatens Mae, and she’s left with no option. The best sci-fi and film noir ideas in “Reminiscence” are equally under-developed.
While watching the memories, Nick notices Mae with Joe (along with a crooked cop on Joe’s patrol) and convinces Falks to follow more times he’d seen Mae. Eventually, he gets to a memory where Mae steals a considerable amount of a drug called balka from Joe when he’s out of the room, and she attacks Falks when she’s caught. This prompts Nick to start questioning how much he really knew Mae, and he sets out alone to New Orleans to question Saint Joe. One fateful day, a beautiful and mysterious woman named Mae walks in to use the reminiscence machine to help find her keys.
But it’s a well-made original bit of sci-fi noir that takes hard-boiled pulp and blends it with vague futuristic tech. But for all its charms,Reminiscence fails to stick the landing and gives us a rather ho-hum ending that might have you scratching your head. Never fear – I’m here to give you the skinny on what’s going on.Major spoilers forReminiscence follow. Nick is initially called in by the local police, in particular, Avery Castillo , to look into Walter Sylvan , a dying land baron who’s nonetheless notorious for holding a monopoly in the area.
The world following the war is physically if not politically changed. Whole cities are now at least partially underwater, and millions of people have been abandoned to die. Corruption is the norm, not the exception, and only the rich are immune from the struggle. The Barons are the ultra-elite who managed to monopolize the country’s resources and profit from them. Which is a pity, because the water-city setting is really cool.
Nick is upset that Watts knew about Mae’s Baca history but never mentioned it to him. He goes over to Saint Joe’s place to find out about Mae, only to learn that Joe knows nothing. Just as Nick is being drowned, Watts shows up and guns down everyone and kills Joe.