Opening on August 20th to a pretty dismal box office, the latest Hugh Jackman film, “Reminiscence” is worth a second look. One reason it opened to such a low two million dollar gross its first weekend is at least 3 fold. (1) The pandemic has changed how all movies open in theaters. (2) I saw no ad trailers and pre-promotion for this film. I’m not saying they didn’t do any but I had NEVER heard of the film until it popped up in my HBO Max app as “in theaters today” and “watch now”, so I did. (3) This is a film targeted at Hugh Jackman’s older female fan base and NOT his X-Men Wolverine crowd.
This is a love story/mystery/thriller on top of it being a sci-fi film. I Loved it
Jackman’s character Nick Bannister is basically an deposition taker and interrogator in a future in Miami. Here, the waters have risen and the bottom floors of some buildings are underwater and others are lost completely underwater due to what is never said but eluded to, Global Warming. Miami is too hot during the day so the city has become completely nocturnal. Bannister is an ex-soldier/medic who fought in some vaguely referenced border war who now uses a mind reading machine to find “memories” that will help the Miami D.A’s office solve crimes. In scenes reminiscent of “Altered States”, witnesses are placed in a water tank and given a drug to visually unlock memories that Bannister can see via a holographic projector. The memories are recorded on a modern version of a glass floppy drive.
One day, Mae (Rebecca Ferguson) walks in having lost her keys and needs to hire him to search her memories to find them. Without being a spoiler, Mae is shrouded in mystery and leads Bannister into a dangerous game of deceit, drugs and criminal activity. Thandiwe Newton plays his lab assistant and confidant who also served in the border wars. This is a dark, sci-fi love story told in true film noir fashion. It’s a great date movie and you should definitely see it. Remember how much you liked L.A. Confidential? I don’t put this in that league but the “vibe” is much the same minus the sci-fi twist. I didn’t see the end coming. Will you?
This is produced by the “West World” on HBO people and in addition to Thandiwe Newton you will recognize other actors from that series.