Apart from that, however, there's not much to Memento, and if its elements were arranged chronologically, there'd be almost no draw at all. As it stands, it's a passable diversion, but imagine if hit films had always relied on this gimmick. We'd have all-new perceptions of Jaws ("Let's reassemble that big shark and go swimming!"), Blade Runner ("Oh well, she's a skin job, so I think I'll just walk around mumbling in the rain..."), and The Wizard of Oz ("Kansas again? Shit! What the hell happened to all the flying monkeys?").
Although it's being trumpeted for its undeniably ambitious narrative structure, Memento feels mostly like an audacious prank, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Perhaps it's not that Nolan is not so adept at mystery; rather, he may be unprepared to deliver characters with strong identities.