Review by Adam Donato
Liam Neeson is about a month away from being seventy years old. It’s the last weekend of April and he is going on his second action flick of the year. Blacklight came out around Valentine’s Day the same weekend as two other pretty decent entries. Unexpectedly (or perhaps not), it was a massive bomb. With a $43 million dollar budget, which is absolutely insane, the worldwide box office total of $15 million is just pathetic. Memory should fare much better for a few different reasons.
First of all, it has the weekend all to itself. That being said, this weekend is the calm before the storm in the form of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Not to mention, last weekend saw three movies release to much critical applause, which is not ideal for Memory at the box office. Maybe the saving grace of Memory is the director, Martin Campbell. Many will be quick to mention that Campbell directed Casino Royale almost two decades ago. Even though the director is more recently responsible for Green Lantern, the last few years have been kind of a resurgence with The Foreigner and The Protegé. Can Memory keep the ball rolling for Campbell?
The film is a remake of a Belgian film called The Memory of a Killer back in 2003. This may be the reason why this premise feels so tired. It doesn’t help that Liam Neeson once again suits up as an assassin who wants out of the game because he loves his family. At least this movie has his age play a factor into the plot besides the idea that he wants to retire. It’s hard to say that Liam Neeson does a bad job in this. He’s just doing the same crap that he does several times a year for at least the last decade. I can’t imagine anyone feeling passionate about this movie in particular in any way, shape or form.
The interesting aspects about this movie are the supporting players. Guy Pearce is always a delight. He carries the majority of the movie despite his character being such a standard detective. Monica Bellucci is an all-time babe, but she turns in the weakest performance of the big names. Campbell’s direction is definitely above average in comparison to the pantheon of stock Liam Neeson action flicks, but there’s still nothing special about Memory.
Memory is certainly not the worst of the Liam Neeson action flicks, but there’s little to make it stand out amongst the bunch. If you see this movie, expect to be in a theater with a few scattered elderly couples. This movie will bomb at the box office and while it may not be the most deserving, it does not deserve to be defended. It’s old people wish fulfillment and if Neeson is your cup of tea then this would be a fine trip to the theater. Hopefully a second box office flop will deter Neeson for making audiences sit through the same exact movie twice a year.
Memory hits theaters on April 29.