Saturday 9 March 2024

Movie Review: Memory (2022)

Genre: Thriller  
Director: Martin Campbell  
Starring: Liam Neeson, Guy Pearce, Monica Bellucci, Taj Atwal  
Running Time: 114 minutes  

Synopsis: In the Texas-Mexico border region, aging assassin-for-hire Alex Lewis (Liam Neeson) is experiencing early signs of dementia, including memory loss. He refuses an assignment to kill a 13 year-old child trafficking victim and turns against his employers. Meantime, FBI agents Vincent Serra and Linda Amistead (Guy Pearce and Taj Atwal) and Mexico's agent Marquez (Harold Torres) are investigating a child trafficking ring, while wealthy real estate mogul Davana Sealman (Monica Bellucci) exerts influence and hides secrets.

What Works Well: This B-movie almost succeeds in covering up its low budget, aided by investments in side plots like creeping dementia, child trafficking, and high-level corruption. The presence of Liam Neeson (old for the role but functional), Guy Pearce (fittingly bedraggled), and Monica Bellucci (evil but underused) elevates quality, and they are ably supported by a feisty Taj Atwal. Ex-Bond director Martin Campbell keeps the action hopping with multiple converging storylines punctuated by controlled action scenes.

What Does Not Work As Well: The script tries too hard, and eventually becomes cluttered with several seemingly important characters making grand entrances only to be summarily dispatched. The creaky production values are exposed by some throwaway sequences and one glaring discontinuity where a crime scene magically relocates from a parkade to a highway. The rushed ending scatters loose ends all over the screen.

Conclusion: Neither instantly forgettable not terribly memorable.

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