A Contract Killer’s Shaky Remembrance is Put to the Test in ‘Memory’

If you thought Liam Neeson would ride off into the sunset on a string of Taken films, you thought wrong. To continue his oversaturation of action-thrillers, he can now add Memory to his repertoire.

It’s a wild premise but at least you can boast that “it’s never been done before!” Memory is a film about a contract killer that’s struggling with the early stages of Alzheimer’s. While contemplating his retirement, he’s hired for one last assignment with a huge payout. He passes on that assignment because it involved a teenage girl, but his refusal comes with a whole host of consequences.

For namesake, Liam Neeson and Monica Bellucci are used heavily for marketing, but the acting from Guy Pearce and Taj Atwal is what really carried the film. Detectives Vincent Serra (Pearce) and Linda Amistead (Atwal) are tasked with looking into a string of murders to see if they’re connected. As a shadow boss who fronts as a real estate developer, Davana Sealman (Bellucci) makes attempts to tie up loose ends from afar in Mexico. The story is realistic enough that you’ll see Linda attempt to learn Spanish with a familiar-looking owl but you’ll immediately sober up after watching Alex Lewis (Neeson) seal a wound with vodka and a cigarette lighter.

R Sigal Diamant stars as “Serena” and Guy Pearce as “Vincent Serra” in director Martin Campbell’s MEMORY, an Open Road Films / Briarcliff Entertainment release. Credit: Rico Torres | Open Road Films / Briarcliff Entertainment

The film isn’t terrible, but, the quality that we’re used to from Neeson has slowly started to fade. It’s not 100% his fault, as some of the dialogue was pretty terrible. There really isn’t a backstory on his character either. We learn more than halfway through the film about his family life and their once-upon-a-time business but that’s it. There were as many bright moments as there were cringe moments but most importantly, it definitely wasn’t worth almost two hours of runtime.

I give Memory a 6.5 out of 10. There should’ve been more onscreen time with Pearce and Neeson together. It seemed like just as things were coming together, they cut it short and went in another direction. There’s enough action to get you through the film, but some of the dialogue and acting might get under your skin.

-Jon Jones

Photos: Briarcliff Entertainment

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