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Martin Campbell
Liam Neeson, Guy Pearce, Monica Bellucci
Writing Credits:
Dario Scardapane

An assassin-for-hire finds that he's become a target after he refuses to complete a job for a dangerous criminal organization.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DVS
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 114 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 7/5/2022

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Memory [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 14, 2022)

Though movies from his aging action hero peers often go straight to video, Liam Neeson’s flicks usually get theatrical distribution. Why?

I can’t answer that, especially as box office returns seem weak. February 2022’s Blacklight made a mere $15 million worldwide, and April 2022’s Memory did even worse, as it topped out at $13 million overall.

Maybe Neeson enjoys a clause in his contracts that requires theatrical exhibition. Whatever the case, Memory offers another of his patented “aging badass” tales.

Alex Lewis (Neeson) functions as an elite, discreet assassin. However, he maintains his own personal sense of ethics, and when he encounters a job that violates this, he needs to deal with those who hired him.

Two problems interfere, one from a threat posed by FBI Agent Vincent Serra (Guy Pearce), whose pursuit impacts Alex. In addition, the elderly Alex finds that his mind now starts to falter, and that creates additional complications.

Adapted from a 2003 Belgian thriller, that last element offers arguably the most intriguing aspect of Memory. Usually we see dementia as a topic in serious dramas, so the theme’s integration into an action flick offers interesting potential.

Those involved with Memory also imply a better than average movie – or at least one better than the average direct-to-video film I alluded to earlier. In addition to Neeson and Pearce, the cast includes veterans like Monica Bellucci and Ray Stevenson, and successful action director Martin Campbell leads matters behind the camera.

Though a look through Campbell’s filmography implies I should probably enter his flicks without much optimism. Campbell did well with his two Bond movies - 1995’s GoldenEye and 2006’s Casino Royale - but otherwise, his catalog comes with a mixed bag.

When we last saw Campbell, he directed 2021’s mediocre Protége. The epic flop of 2011’s Green Lantern appeared to damage Campbell’s career, and I can’t claim Memory does anything to set matters right.

The biggest problem here stems from the disjointed nature of the tale. While Alex ostensibly acts as the lead, we spend a lot of time with various others, and Memory fails to connect these dots in a satisfying manner.

Memory can’t take advantage of its primary twist. While Alex’s dementia should become a significant element, instead it feels like an afterthought, one that doesn’t play as much of a part in the proceedings as it should.

As a result, Memory delivers a slow and dull production. We get few to no actual surprises along the way.

This doesn’t make Memory a terrible thriller, but it seems perfunctory and forgettable. Too by the numbers to make an impact, expect a bland affair.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus D-

Memory appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Across the board, this was an appealing transfer.

Sharpness looked strong most of the time. Some wider elements seemed a little tentative, but the image usually gave us a tight, well-defined image.

Jagged edges and moiré effects remained absent, while edge haloes also failed to appear. Print flaws stayed absent as well.

Because much of the film took place in the arid US Southwest, Memory opted for an amber/orange tone as well as some teal. These tones seemed predictable, but they worked fine within the movie’s design parameters and showed good delineation.

Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows showed nice clarity and smoothness. I thought this was a consistently strong image.

I also felt pleased with the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. Though not packed with action, the mix used the channels in an involving manner throughout much of the film.

This meant vehicles and environmental material all around the room, and the elements connected in a concise, smooth manner. Add to that music as a bold participant and the soundscape turned into an engaging partner, with some slam-bang from the occasional violent sequence.

Audio quality always satisfied. Music was dynamic and full, and effects followed suit, so those components came across as accurate and well-developed.

Speech seemed distinctive and crisp, without edginess or other issues. The audio worked fine for the material.

The disc opens with ads for The Outfit, The Northman, Blacklight and Ambulance. No trailer for Memory or other extras appear here.

Despite a potentially intriguing subtheme related to the deteriorating mental state of its protagonist, Memory gives us a wholly ordinary thriller. Nothing clever or unusual pops up along the way, so we find a bland action flick. The Blu-ray comes with good picture and audio but it lacks bonus materials. This winds up as an uninspiring tale.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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