We might expect that Memory would be a retread of Liam Neeson recent trail of scripts which placed him in the position of violently revenging wrongs. It’s not. Here he is an expert assassin who is beginning to descend into Alzheimers. Director Campbell drops hints on Neeson’s Alex Lewis loss of memory when he forgets where his keys are and as we see him reading instructions written on his left arm. It’s a bit like The Lookout with Joseph Gordon Levitt, who following an accident carried notes to instruct him as to each activity he was scheduled to carry out.
Alex Lewis is a smooth perfect killer, he quietly removes those he has a contract to destroy. But Alzheimers is beginning to carry him away from his memories but work continues until he is assigned to kill a thirteen year old girl. Rejecting that part of his contract places him on the list to be eliminated by the forces he has worked for.
Over time we learn his background is at least partially responsible for his refusal to follow through on the assassin of a young girl. The script travels to a dark place where young women are used to satisfy older men and there is a secret film showing just that. That evidence can take down the entire cabal lead by Davana Sealman (Monica Bellucci) who does not appear comfortable in the role of a woman who has lost her killer son and spends her time using drugs and injections to make her look younger.
Lewis suddenly finds himself on the same side as FBI special agent Vincent (Guy Pearce) but they are each coming at the target from different sides of the street and probably facing a serious collision. At the same time local police appear to be dragging their feet and the DA doesn’t want to tackle Davana Sealman’s powerful family.
It may be expected that Neeson has drained the revenge scripts but Memory travels a different highway. The path of the script places his character Alex Lewis in the crosshairs of the FBI, local police and the cartel. The story explains how he traverses the barriers and is interesting, action filled and not always predictable.