As I waded through almost two hours of this shallow slush - and wade it is, as most of the film is set in submerged Miami - I felt myself cringing on behalf of Hugh Jackman.
Wolverine deserves better than this tacky third-rate science affliction… sorry, fiction... with no pace or grace - let alone any friction. The plot premise itself is so ridiculous I wondered how Hugh got conned into being part of this sham shindig.The zeroes on the cheque? As some wise woman (Preity Zinta, actually) once told me, if you continue to count the zeros on the cheque you soon end up being a zero.
Jackman will survive Reminiscence. I am not too sure about the audience. After being subjected to the preposterous plot propulsions and action scenes that take the joy away from the action and replace it with a kind of frantic paranoia, I came away a different human being. It is not often that film is so bad you wish it would vanish. This one is it!
To get a grip on the plot you need iron handrails on your patience. Jackman plays Nicholas, a memory merchant who along with his pragmatic partner Emily (Thandiwe Newton who makes so many faces to show her martyrdom that I felt like calming her down with sedatives). What they do (besides annoying the hell out of us) is to revive forgotten memories of clients who wish to recall particular incidents from their past.
What we would like is a reverse procedure where we can wipe out the memory of this monstrous misfire. But before that, back to the plot where our hero Nicholas falls desperately and hopelessly in love with a mysterious smouldering club singer Mae (Rebecca Ferguson, displaying unintentional comic timing) who looks like a distant cousin of Faye Dunaway in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown.
Not that I am comparing this curdled conundrum with Polanski’s crime-noir classic. Just saying. Most of the film sees Nicholas wading through tons of water in this soggy saga of drowned passions, looking for his lost love Mae. His pursuit of love takes him to villains like Saint Joe (Daniel Wu) and Cyrus Boothe (Cliff Curtis). Their fights with Nicholas look tired, jaded, exhausted and exhausting.
Whether Nicholas finds true love or not is irrelevant. Whether Hugh Jackman will ever get over the embarrassment of having done this picture show is the pertinent question. I can imagine Hugh Jackman trying desperately to hide this film from his grandchildren.
Nothing in Reminiscence is worth remembering. Not the performances. Not the special effects (the memory-recall episodes look as authentic as fully prepared beds in departmental stores with models sleeping on them ). Not the music. This film should have never been approved at the script level. The architects of this time-travelling abomination owe us an apology.
Image Source: Instagram/reminiscencefilm, youtube/warnerbrospictures