Memory Review – Unexpected Twists with Solid Character Driven Performances

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Memory, from Lionsgate, presents a race against time thriller as a contract killer, who is suffering from early stages of Alzheimer, and is hired for one last job that goes sideways and he is left to clear it up.

The film, set in El Paso, established early that Alex Lewis, played by Liam Neeson, is an expert assassin with a reputation for discreet precision. We understand also that he is forgetful. So much so that he writes important information for his jobs on his arm, a trigger for his memory. He has been diagnosed with advancing Alzheimer's and has been given a prescription to help now.

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After Lewis' first hit, the film moves to a home, a father, Papa Leon, played by Antonio Jaramillo, is trafficking his daughter Beatriz, played by Mia Sanchez, for sex. Unbeknownst to them Vincent Serra, played by Guy Pearce, is wearing a wire. The entire transaction is caught on tape. When the girl tries to seduce him, she sees it and begins to scream.

Serra and Papa Leon struggle and fall out a second story window. He is dead and the joint Mexican-U.S. child trafficking investigation died with him. The girl is sent to a detention facility for deportation. Vincent shows up and offers her a temporary visa in exchange for her testimony. She is placed in a group home.

Soon we understand that the men involved in this pedophile ring have deep connections to the community. Lewis is contracted to clean up the loose ends and explains to the contact that sets up the job, Mauricio, played by Lee Boardman, that he is out. He decides to take the job anyway which sets up the final act.

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Within the instructions are the hit on Beatriz, a line Lewis won't cross. A real estate tycoon, Davana Sealman, played by Monica Belluci, a devoted mother who will do anything for her sons, even if it means destroying herself in the process, sets up the hit.

At this point, as Lewis is mentally deteriorating and his actions are becoming more erratic, we see he is on a mission to hunt the people who hired him and to call off the contract on Beatriz. He informs the FBI that justice is a slow process, and these people have deep pockets and with that the ability to blind, bind and derail the judicial process.

The film exploits the unsettling truths of contemporary quagmire, the swamp of sleaze, corruption, and bribery that permeates the legal system. These truths are played well by the joint task force, Hugo, played by Harold Torres and Linda, played by Taj Atwal, who are willing to bend the rules and blur the lines for justice.

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Memory is a fast action thriller, with unexpected twists. Liam Neeson captures the essence of his role. The film will have mainstream appeal. We see deeper moments, outside of the typical contract killer play, that Neeson authentically portrays this man, mentally dying and physically injured. There is also an overlaying sense of Stockholm syndrome, as his character takes refuge in a place where he suffered extreme abuse.

Memory, a pop-culture action flick, delivers with plot twists, unpredictable story turns, solid character driven performances, and a surprising ending. See it.

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Country: USA.

Runtime: 114minutes.

Release Date: April 29, 2022.

Directed By: Martin Campbell.

Screenplay By: Dario Scardapane.

Produced By: Cathay Schulman, Moshe Diamant, Rupert Maconick, Michael Heimler, Arthur Sarkissian.

Cast: Liam Neeson, Guy Pearce, Monica Bellucci, Taj Atwal, Ray Fearon, Harold Torres, Mia Sanchez, Antonio Jaramillo.

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