An intriguing idea too infrequently pays off in "Rememory," a middling sci-fi mystery-drama starring Peter Dinklage as Sam Bloom, an architectural model-maker haunted by the car-crash death of his musician brother (Matt Ellis).
Sam becomes obsessed with the Rememory machine, a new invention by psychologist-scientist Gordon Dunn (Martin Donovan) that allows users to unearth, visually replay — and, if so desired — erase buried or distorted memories to reconcile the past.
But when Dunn is found dead of dubious causes, Sam, turns amateur sleuth to learn the truth. The result: a plodding one-man investigation (the police curiously vanish here) in which Sam befriends Dunn's widow (Julia Ormond) and questions such potential suspects as Dunn's ex-lover (Evelyne Brochu) and a troubled test subject (the late Anton Yelchin).
Sam also super-conveniently steals the only existing Rememory machine, one of many far-fetched bits in the often contrived script by director Mark Palansky and Michael Vukadinovich.
Despite a soulful turn by Dinklage and some thoughtful themes and emotions, the film, capped by an anti-climactic ending, never coheres into the gripping, mind-bending package that was clearly intended.
Rating: PG-13, for bloody accident images, some violence, thematic material and brief strong language
Running time: 1 hour, 54 minutes.
Playing: AMC Dine-In Sunset 5, West Hollywood