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On paper, Rememory sounds like an interesting concept: a man uses a memory machine to gather evidence of who might have murdered a renowned psychiatrist. It sounds like a different version of Memento and potentially a fun addition to the science fiction genre. Unfortunately, it’s more of a Lifetime special rather than a compelling psychological thriller. It’s common knowledge that everyone needs to suspend disbelief in a thriller, but director and writer Mark Polansky requires you to forget about any plot holes whatsoever. Like a philosophy college student, Rememory attempts to be complex but ends up a confusing mess.
Rememory stars Peter Dinklage as Samuel Boone, a model maker who has been grieving long after causing a brutal car accident that killed his brother. Sam attends a lecture by Gordon Dunn who is on the verge of releasing a machine that let people relive their own memories. After Dunn dies under mysterious circumstances, Sam decides to steal the machine to solve his murder and look into his own past memories.
Polansky and co-writer Mike Vukadinovich pile cliche on top of cliche with zero creativity. The numerous side characters lack any nuance and are exactly the types of cliches we predict them to be. Not even Julia Ormond could get her character out of the grieving widow mold. The film is kept together by Dinklage’s performance, but even he has trouble making this film believable. His cringey dialogue (such as saying“time heals all wounds” to Dunn’s grieving widow) makes the film borderline campy. Polansky and Vukadinovich fail to create any logical motivations so the audience never knows why Sam is doing all of this detective work in the first place.
Polansky and Vukadinovich had some interesting ideas about “the machine” but only briefly elaborated on it as if they were crunched for time. Sam experiences some hallucinations as a side effect of the machine, but he quickly gets over it and moves on with his life. Like most elements in the movie, it’s not an obstacle for him to overcome. In fact, it’s not an obstacle for any of the characters since he seems to be the only one experiencing them.
To be frank, Dinklage deserves better than this film. According to Polansky, this role was written for Dinklage but it didn’t give him any chance to show off his skills. Instead, he has to work with a predictable plot and a weak attempt to philosophize about the human condition. If Polansky wants to come up with a good script, then he needs to learn how to properly connect the dots.