In the last few years, I tend to avoid movies with aging action stars like Keanu Reeves or Bruce Willis. Starring Liam Neeson, Memory turned out to be a very watchable movie about an aging hitman on one last mission of revenge. It’s based on a Dutch movie that came out some twenty years earlier. This is perhaps why it feels different than all the other generic action movies on offer today. However, do not think this is some masterpiece that’s going to blow you away. It’s more of a time-killer that should keep your attention with a couple of intelligent twists.
First of all, did you know that Liam Neeson is fucking seventy years old! Hell, Memory is worth watching just to see him move and do his stuff like a forty-year-old. The man clearly knows how to take care of himself. His movie before this one, The Ice Road was abysmal. It’s funny to think that our entire veteran cast playing Americans is actually not from America. Guy Pierce is from Australia, Ray Stevenson along with Neeson was born in Ireland and Taj Atwal is British. To complete this international cast we’ve got beautiful Italian actress Monica Bellucci.
Just in case you’re wondering why there are so many older actors in these action movies, the answer is quite simple. Money, it’s all about money and international audiences. And while these movies will get low IMDb ratings, they will be played over and over again in Russia, China, and Europe. In countries where streaming is not so big and where people still come home from work tired and looking for some digestible entertainment. And Memory fits that bill to a tee. Although it features some pretty fucked up issues. We’re talking about pedophilia, child trafficking, corruption, and other issues.
After successfully completing his latest mission, Alex, a veteran hitman is ready to retire. His handler Mauricio convinces him to do one more job. As fate would have it, this will turn out to be a very difficult and deadly mission for Alex. At the same time, the FBI is trying to uncover the men behind a child sex trafficking ring. Both of these parties do not know they’re on a collision course.
Memory is also a revenge movie. Although you wouldn’t have known it from Neeson’s mostly expressionless face. Man, I remember watching him in Darkman, a superhero movie from 1990 with the same weary look. He confidently carries this movie right ‘to the end. The director is Martin Campbell, the guy behind a couple of good Bond movies, Casino Royale and GoldenEye. Although he recently started making these veteran action movies.
Do check out The Protégé, starring Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson plus The Foreigner with Jackie Chan, featuring more action than this one. If you’re feeling nostalgic about the good old days of Taken or just want something to run in the background, Memory is a solid choice.
Director: Martin Campbell
Writers: Dario Scardapane, Jef Geeraerts, Carl Joos
Cast: Liam Neeson, Guy Pearce, Taj Atwal, Harold Torres, Ray Fearon, Ray Stevenson, Monica Bellucci
Fun Facts: Memory was released in theaters and managed to be quite profitable making little over $8.3 million.