Where Oh Where Oh Where

Stars: Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson, Thandiwe Newton, Cliff Curtin, Brett Cullen, Daniel Wu , Marina de Tavira and Mojean Aria
Director/Scriptwriter: Lisa Joy
Composer: Ramin Djawadi
Cinematography: Paul Cameron
FilmNation Entertainment/Warner Brothers Pictures
Rating: PG 13 for themed material and violence
Running Length: 116 Minutes

Memories, oh, those memories.  Some we want to toss away forever, and others we want to keep forever.  In “Reminiscence,” you have a choice. This is reminiscent of “Total Recall.”  In the world of the future, global warming has taken over full time.  Oceans have risen enormously, daytime temperatures are very hot and people live for the evening--like vampires---for the “cool” things to begin. This, in itself, is a study of what could be.  Such is the world where Hugh Jackman, playing Nick, runs a business of memories with his partner, Watts (Thandiwe Newton). 

As the story goes, in their memory business, Watts runs the machinery and Nick gives the “prompts” (psychological comments) to help the client. Out of the blue, comes a gorgeous woman, Mae (Rebecca Ferguson) asking for Nick to help her find lost keys? They fall for each other and Mae works as a singer and waitress in a restaurant. Nick finds himself in his office with the memory machinery running.  What happened? Watts is suspicious of Mae. In the meantime, here come the police for help in retrieving memories from a suspect who worked for a drug lord called, Saint Joe (Daniel Wu). Nick finds out Saint Joe knew Mae and got her hooked on a drug called Baca.. Then it is on to a confrontation with Saint Joe. Enter a tycoon named Sylvan (Brett Cullen), his mistress, Elsa (Angela Sarafyan) and Sylvan’s wife, Tamara (Marina de Tavira, plus a child? Have you been taking notes so far?  Who is remembering who and why and when, so take a breather, have some popcorn and soda pop and come back to the script. 

“Reminiscence” is well photographed with good special effects. Hugh Jackman is an inspired choice for the role of Nick. He has a limp and looks as though he has been worn down by life with no happiness in sight. Thandiwe Newton is the proper foil to Jackman with appropriate facial expression.  Rebecca Ferguson is the gorgeous femme fatale. Two of my favorite actors, Cliff Curtis and Brett Cullen together in a movie?  Well done, but not on screen enough. 

If memories could be stored and relived and relived and relived, what would you do?  What would be your favorite?  Childhood? College football Saturdays? Your wedding day?  This reminded me of an episode in “Star Trek” where Mr. Spock and members of the Enterprise crew went back in time to the Ice Age. Spock’s Vulcan society had not yet achieved a stoic exterior, and he was able to fall in love with a lonely woman left there (Mariette Hartley) In this society, there would be an end of the world, and citizens could choose what century they want to go to before the planet destruction begins. Spock’s love was a criminal, so designated to a solitary life in an ice cave. 

“Reminiscent” gives its citizens a chance to go to a different place, even if for a short time.  Global warming has done its thing and people are living the best life they can here. It is a topsy-turvy world. There is a limit, though, of using memories, otherwise your brain would literally burn out. Hugh Jackman’s sad expression is what holds the film together.  He goes from one incident to another seeking answers to questions. It is a long journey, and as we in the year 2021 have seen, our global warming episodes have just begun. 


Copyright 2021 Marie Asner