Daily Express

Dip into Wetworld

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Cert 12A In cinemas now

★★★★

Nostalgia has become a way of life,” growls Hugh Jackman in the hard-boiled voiceover that runs through this absorbing debut feature from Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy.

We’re in an overheated near future, half of Miami is underwater and the miserable survivors are yearning for happier, drier days.

Jackman’s ex-soldier, Nick Bannister, has hit on a way to cash in on rising sea levels.

In a damp former bank, he and his business partner Watts (Thandiwe Newton) sell sessions on a machine that lets punters relive their memories in vivid detail.

Beneath the sci-fi trappings, this standalone summer blockbuste­r (remember them?) is an old-fashioned film noir with cynical Nick turning private eye after a brush with a femme fatale.

As in The Greatest Showman, it’s Rebecca Ferguson’s singing that turns Jackman’s world upside down. The Swedish actress plays sultry chanteuse Mae who sashays into Nick’s joint asking for help with locating a set of lost keys.

So Nick views her memories on his holo-screen, then falls for her as she sings a haunting and eerily familiar number on stage at the Coconut Club.

A passionate romance ends with her sudden disappeara­nce. Obsessed Nick can’t let her go, turning his back on his business to track her down.

Before long, he’s investigat­ing her past links to a New Orleans drug dealer and a wealthy “land baron”.

The plot and the production design are largely forgettabl­e but Joy poses some intriguing questions about memory and the role we cast for ourselves in the stories of our lives.

If you saw the brilliant first series of Westworld, Reminiscen­ce will feel reassuring­ly familiar.

Westworld creator Joy poses some intriguing questions about memory

 ??  ?? KEY NOTE Rebecca Ferguson
SINKING FEELING Thandiwe Newton and Hugh Jackman
KEY NOTE Rebecca Ferguson SINKING FEELING Thandiwe Newton and Hugh Jackman

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