‘Memory’: between loss of memory and thirst for justice

With Memory, distributed by Bim Distributionthe New Zealand director Martin Campbell packs a well-made action thriller, in which the pace is always kept at a good level, despite some flaws related, above all, to the script of Dario Scardapane not always up to par.

Memory: the plot

Alexis Lewis (Liam Neeson) is a killer now on the way to sunset. Tired and with an onset of Alzheimer’s, he is called for one last mission before retirement.

The moment he realizes that the person to kill is Beatriz (My Sanchez), a 13-year-old victim of child exploitation, Alexis refuses to complete the task for which he was hired. He will thus begin a path of revenge that will lead him to clash with the leaders of a criminal group that holds the lives of many young people like Beatriz and whose head are the influential and wealthy real estate developer Davana Sealman (Monica Bellucci) and his son Randy (Josh Taylor).

In her obsessive quest for revenge, Alexis will end up clashing with FBI detective Vincent Serra (Guy Pearce) who, assisted by agent Linda Amisted (Taj Atwal) and detective Hugo Marquez (Harold Torres), investigates the same round of child prostitution.

Benefits …

Pros and defects coexist in Memorywhich the director of Casino Royale based on the novel by Jef Geeraerts “De Zaak Alzheimer”, making the remake of a previous Belgian film.

A action movie built with a pace that remains high until the end, without major drops in tension, which make it a good entertainment product, without disdaining to emphasize some delicate issues such as child prostitution and, above all, the decay process mind of a man who, due to illness, sees his memory slowly but surely fade away.

Alexis is aware of his handicap, so much so that he uses his arm as a reminder, on which he notes the things to do or the places he has been. From this point of view one cannot but appreciate the proof of Liam Neeson, very good at characterizing his character who, on the one hand shows ruthlessness towards his victims, on the other, shows an unexpected fragility in the moment in which he has to deal with illness and old age.

Precisely this inner journey of his leads him to refuse to kill the defenseless Beatriz and to undertake the path of revenge against the criminal association, in the extreme attempt of a probably impossible redemption and, in any case, out of time.

… And flaws

However, not everything goes smoothly in the film of Martin Campbell: beyond the simple plot supported, however, by a discreet pace, the descriptions of the various characters represent the most penalizing aspect of the film.

Both Vincent, the policeman tormented by his past, a figure now widely abused in the genre, and the killer who, we discover, also haunted by a dark past, lack a real psychological insight. Especially the character played by Liam Neeson it would deserve greater attention from this point of view, also in consideration of its unusual condition – for the genre – of Alzheimer’s patient.

But all the characters, both the main ones and the secondary ones, suffer from excessive superficiality. In particular the Davana Sealman of the Bellucci it almost seems like a parody of the various dark ladies seen on the screen. Not to mention that the acting of the Umbrian actress – who in the Italian version she doubles herself – leaves something to be desired.

In conclusion, Memory it is a decent entertainment film, but without reaching a level that makes it a good genre film. And it’s a shame, because we could have expected more from the director of one of the best “007” of the last period.

‘Memory’: between loss of memory and thirst for justice