Rememory is one of those films that, if it had reached its potential, would’ve been a thrilling experience for sci-fi lovers and general audience alike. I belong in the general audience category and the movie was nevertheless enticing as its premise had a broad appeal. Revolving around a piece of technology that projects one’s memory – formerly diluted and reshaped by different factors – truthfully, the way it had really happened, onto a screen, Rememory promised both delicious storytelling and cool technology to tell that story. Unfortunately, the film is often muddled by the unimaginative writing and directing of Mark Palansky, and co-writer Michael Vukadinovich.

It all begins with Sam Bloom–played by the charismatic Peter Dinklage–and his musician brother, Dash, celebrating at a bar. They both drunkenly drive back home with Sam behind the wheel. Naturally, a car crash ensues. Dash dies, leaving our protagonist behind bloodied and ready to tread through the rest of the film with the kind of glum resolve only someone who had just recently accidentally killed his brother has.

A few years later, Bloom is still glum while attending a seminar by the inventor of the memory device, Gordon Dunn, who bombastically describes how his soon-to-be-released invention will revolutionize everything. That very night however, Dunn dies under mysterious circumstances. For reasons unbeknownst yet to the viewer, our protagonist is deeply invested in this event and takes it upon himself to find out who the murderer is. Bloom then steals the memory device –a little too easily – from the victim’s office and uses it as a tool to aid his investigation. He also discovers several self-recordings from Dunn and plays them one by one. These recordings explain, well… the invention and how it could revolutionize everything. (Dunn could’ve probably recorded this in one sitting but he opted to record these in a span of several days as made clear from his outfit changes.) At this point, Bloom and viewers already know all this and I could not think of a single reason why we need to be reminded again of what a game changer this machine is.

Pictured: Anton Yelchin in a scene from the 2017 sci-fi crime mystery film, Rememory. photo by Greg Middleton.

Bloom begins his search for answers and meets with all the suspects. As a “general audience” viewer I’m more than capable of suspending my disbelief of this new invention – sure it’s a little silly but I’m quite excited about all the ways it can be used to drive the plot forward – however, I’m unable to believe how entirely trusting and generous with information each of the suspects are when Bloom tracks them down and knocks on their door. A variation of this dialogue happened so many times that I began to wonder how incompetent the police force is that a novice like Bloom is closer than them to solving the case:

Bloom: “I’m here to investigate Dunn’s death and I think you’re a suspect.”

Suspect: “Who are you? Go away! I have nothing to do with this!”

Bloom: “But I have good intentions.”

Suspect: “Okay! Here’s what I know…”

One exception is when Todd–one of the brilliant Anton Yelchin’s last roles–only reveals his story when he is forced to by Bloom at gunpoint. It should be noted that Yelchin does a marvelous job transforming into sunken-eyed combative Todd. He’s full of resent for Dunn, who’s using him as a lab rat in the name of science and resurfacing a traumatic memory that Todd had initially forgotten out of self-preservation. It’s not quite a completely flawless performance, but Yelchin acted the hell out of his scenes and he could’ve well been on his way to becoming a really great actor.

All the junior-varsity-level interrogation scenes are intercut and edited rather clumsily with Bloom going through all the evidence at hand. This includes recorded memories collected from all the suspects and furiously writing one-worded notes on his notepad: “mom?” “drugs?” “Valentine” and “Neil” (a name he inexplicably underlines three times). He spends time painting little figurines of the victim and the suspects, labeling their names, and moving them around on a cardboard landscape. With the apparent little-to-no-brainpower required of him for this investigation, I suppose it’s a nice distraction to focus his mental energy on. But we’re left unsure whether or not painting figurines is just a hobby of his or if it really somehow aids his search for answers. The writers most likely wrote these rather pointless scenes as an excuse to show Dinklage act pensive with background music.

There is a tender moment near the end of the film when the Sam’s motivation is truly revealed – and it’s one I didn’t quite expect. It’s a wrenching flashback scene written with a lot of heart, showcasing Dinklage’s acting prowess at its peak which is great because it often wavered throughout the film. Rememory does wrap up rather beautifully and I almost shed a tear because of how delicately the resolution was handled, which was quite impressive with the film as a whole being all over the place. Nevertheless, in the very last scene, Sam dramatically tosses his figurines out to sea to signify his solving of the case and we see them slowly sinking into the water. And we’re still left wondering, with both the film and the figurines, what was the point?

As you can tell from the photo, Alvin was too excited to attend the premiere for 50 Shades Darker, so he has no business writing about the arts. He’s the oldest of six kids but hasn’t talked to any his siblings in a few months because he’s been too busy. Like an old person, he needs to take sleep aid every night to go to sleep. IG / Twitter