At last, The Greatest Showman co-stars Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson are reunited! Their wooden chemistry is reprised here as lovers Nick and Mae, both navigating a rapidly sinking, post-apocalyptic Miami. Written and directed by Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy, her feature debut is a trashy sci-fi noir centred on a device called the reminiscence – an immersive tank that allows people to relive their memories. It’s rented out to paying customers by Nick and his assistant, Watts (a whiskey-swigging, eye-rolling Thandiwe Newton). When his client turned girlfriend, Mae, suddenly disappears, Nick begins to investigate her dodgy past as a singer in New Orleans.
From his cheesy narration (“Nothing is more addictive than the past,” Nick solemnly opines) to the movie’s double-crossing femme fatale and nocturnal, neon-lit setting, the director has great fun playing with genre tropes, but it’s unclear whether she’s going for heightened camp. Though the movie relies on CGI, there’s something analogue about its dystopia, not least the floppy disk-style cards that hold the recorded memories.