Friday 17 June 2022

REVIEW: Memory (2022) - Starring Liam Neeson, Guy Pearce and Monica Bellucci

Review by Jon Donnis
Directed by Martin Campbell, Memory is the latest film to feature Liam Neeson as a man with a very particular set of skills.

Liam Neeson stars as an aging hitman with early onset dementia who must go on the run after declining a contract on a young girl.

No one has been typecast in their career more than Liam Neeson I think it is fair to say. But despite being 70, he manages to still seem credible in such parts.

The film starts with Alex Lewis (played by Neeson) living in Mexico, he is a contract killer, but he is suffering from early onset Dementia. Alex also has a brother who is a resident at a nursing home in El Paso due to his dementia

Alex works for Davana Sealman (Monica Bellucci). He is given the job of taking out Ellis Van Camp, an El Paso man who is a builder for the Texas Central Processing Facility.

Meanwhile at the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, Special Agent Vincent Serra (Guy Pearce) is undercover, trying to bring down a human trafficker named Papillion. Papillion trafficked a 13-year-old called Beatriz. Serra ends up killing Papillion after he tries to use the girl as a human shield.

Are you following all of this, it is getting very complicated I know.

Back with Alex and he kills his target, and steals some flash drives, but on the drives it shows Sealman's son Randy (Josh Taylor) having sex with the previously mentioned 13-year-old called Beatriz.

After Beatriz is taken to Child Protective Services, Alex is then ordered to kill her as his next contract, but he refuses. Beatriz is subsequently killed by someone else, and now Alex is after Sealman. And I think you can pretty much guess the rest of the film.

The story is slightly over complicated, when really all we need to know is that Neeson is pissed off, wants revenge, and is going after the bad guys. 

Neeson is Neeson, there is nothing in his performance that you haven't seen him do countless times before, however that said, he is really good at playing this kind of character, he is believable, he is likeable, and you want him to succeed.

The Good
Neeson doing what he does best, being the gravelly voiced guy with a very particular set of skills. The action scenes are all well produced. Guy Pearce puts in a strong performance as Special Agent Vincent Serra.

The Bad
Much like many other Liam Neeson films, you could cut and edit parts of this film, merge them into other films, and you would notice no difference between the characters. Unoriginal story, and a bit too long at 1h45m.

If you are a Liam Neeson fan, you know exactly what to expect, and to its credit the film delivers exactly that.
If you have never seen a Liam Neeson film, then starting with this one is a perfectly fine starting point.

I am a Neeson fan, and I know the film is unoriginal, I have seen this kind of film endlessly over the years, but I still enjoyed it.

I score Memory a fair 7/10

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