As long as movies are made and Liam Neeson lives, no year will go by without him in an action film. An action film that otherwise would be a DTV, if not for his name. It appears that 2021 will be more of the same, as Neeson just added another notch in his belt. This time though he’s teaming up with the usually solid Martin Campbell, for an action-thriller called Memory.
At the massive European Film Market that’s underway, The Hollywood Reporter was able to suss out news of the film. Memory is actually an adaptation of 2003’s The Memory of a Killer. A Dutch hit from 17 years ago sounds like strange move. When you read the synopsis though, you’ll see why Neeson is involved:
“Memory follows Alex Lewis (Neeson), an expert assassin with a reputation for discreet precision. When he refuses to complete a job for a dangerous criminal organization, he becomes a target and must go on the hunt for those who want him dead, according to a plot description. Veteran FBI agents and a Mexican intelligence liaison are brought in to investigate the trail of bodies left in Lewis’ wake. With both the crime syndicate and FBI in hot pursuit, he has the skills to stay ahead, except for one thing — he is struggling with severe memory loss, affecting his every move and making his objective increasingly difficult to complete.”
That sounds compelling enough, but something feels off. Doing a little digging shows that other major outlets (Deadline, Variety) leave out the memory loss bit. As well as a few other points. The thing is, and this could be the adaptation part, it’s not totally in line with the original. In the Dutch version, the assassin is suffering from Alzheimer’s. You know, just a tad worse than general memory loss. Whether the lack inclusion here is a reveal or an alteration, is what may make this sink or swim.
At this point, is everyone still onboard the Neeson express? Has his brand of action worn out its welcome? Memory‘s potential and anticipation levels ride on thing things. The memory loss or Alzheimer’s being the big hook to the film. Martin Campbell avoiding a Foreigner or Green Lantern type situation. Or, the biggest “if”: that this is the 1-2 STX film releases that year to actually be quite good.
Shooting is slated for later this year. So, it’s very likely we won’t hear much more on Memory for a bit. When Liam Neeson is involved though, you always hope to pleasantly surprised. For the time being, try not to forget this film is actually in the works.