Even when memory fails, Liam Neeson still understands it

At the moment, veteran actor Liam Neeson is one of the strongest characters in the action movie genre, starring not only in taken franchise but also Gray, faithful thief, widowed, traveler, non-stop, black light, And archer He appears to be capable of any task. Just months away from the age of 70 and having recently completed his 100th movie, the action star and AARP cover model can still kick ass as well as any actor half (or even a quarter!) of his age. But how can Hollywood continue to find work suitable for his age? The answer, at least in the new thriller memory, Neeson’s character is diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s disease, which complicates his removal from an international drug and human trafficking ring.

And while Neeson lends his typical charismatic competence to the role of a hitman who has been in the game for so long, his struggle with Alzheimer’s ultimately matters only as a secondary plot point, a character trait designed only to complicate his chances of success. in his mission. Neeson plays Alex Lewis, who is ready to retire from a long career but has come up with an ultimate assignment. It is an old metaphor borrowed from Westerners middle of the back to the unforgiven. But the mission isn’t what Alex is used to – it’s a hit that a hitman can’t stand – which leads him to the middle of an FBI sting operation south of the Texas border led by Jay Pearce’s Vincent Cera.

Now, where did I put my car keys? Liam Neeson as Alex Lewis. Credit: Rico Torres | Open Road Films / Briarcliff Entertainment.

A faltering memory is certainly not what the average age killer needs. But even mild cognitive impairment (MCI) affects approximately one in seven people over the age of 60. Its primary indicators can be secondary. Like, say, forgetting where you left the car keys. After a hit, in particular, misplacing your car keys can be a real inconvenience. To help himself, Alex relies on a file saved in his tablet and Sharpie’s notes on his forearm. If self-tagging and excessive note-taking reminds you of it souvenir, you are not alone. But this with Jay Pearce is about the only things that Christopher Nolan’s brilliant treatise on amnesia and that largely forgettable fare have in common.

Guy Pearce as Vincent Cera. Credit: Rico Torres | Open Road Films / Briarcliff Entertainment.

Amnesia in general has always been one of the most important things about studio filmmaking. from random harvest And love letters to me porn franchise and Eternal sunshine for a clean mind (And Finding Nemoor for that matter Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Amnesia was played for the sake of melodrama, suspense, and laughter. But movies rarely take amnesia seriously. Going so far as to name itself after Alex’s case, memory Don’t do much to change that. While the early scenes reliably depict Alex’s developing amnesia and the complications it presents for his appointment, the dictates of the plot take precedence, and the long narrative periods overlook Alzheimer’s disease entirely. even if memory Not working as a movie with insight into the consequences of its loss — a condition that has plagued more than six million Americans and cost the country more than $321 billion in healthcare — can it at least deliver the necessary excitement for its genre? The plot plots begin with a series of child abuse prostitution South Frontier Circle. We’re not asked to care about or identify the victims either, even young Beatriz (Mia Sanchez): the plot quickly makes its way past the costs of human trafficking to bring down its common villains.

Mia Sanchez as Beatrice. Credit: Rico Torres | Open Road Films / Briarcliff Entertainment.

Once Alex learns that Pierce’s agent is on the case, he offers the help he can do while keeping his freedom at stake and pursuing his own investigation. Pierce is fine. His character is a mess of bad hair and bad clothes, but he’s a good guy and a committed detective with his important opinions on the case. Unfortunately, when Pierce, the local policeman Marquis (Harold Torres) and Dett outperform Serra. Danny Motta (Ray Stevenson) finds himself in a room that feels like a contest for who can win the biggest Texas accent as the grown-up men work to outsmart each other in a Dirty Harry-Meet-Batman-at-the-border manhood contest. In the end, Alex leads them to wealthy El Paso real estate mogul Davana Silman (Monica Bellucci).

Monica Bellucci as Davana Silman. Credit: Rico Torres | Open Road Films / Briarcliff Entertainment.

While memoryPace lags when Neeson is off screen, director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale Golden Eye Zorro Mask) knows how to masterfully organize the sequence of events. And Neeson, as always, can pull the lens off the camera. Still twinkling in his eye and quickly caught him in a quarrel; He is prone to memory loss and dependence on medication makes his personality more fallible and endearing. Alex is a killer, but he’s a killer we can get to, even if in the end all he wants is to lay down his gun – once the drug smuggling/child prostitution ring gets cut off its head.

No one will be wrong memory for, for example, still alice. Films are subject to genre conventions and memoryHis commitments to thriller metaphors mean that there is little time for exposure or information about the disease the protagonist has begun to suffer from. But memory It lacks any real insight into Alzheimer’s disease, and in 2022 the movies could really give more thought to their portrayal of disability. The questions of acting in film become more pressing with each passing year, and unlike those films of decades past, today it can offer more than just a presentation of disability as just a character trait or a narrative device.

while watching memory, I can’t help but think of another aging, charismatic action star who is pushing 70 and a veteran of over 100 movies: Bruce Willis. While Neeson’s films are still getting a theatrical release, Willis’ films for the past decade have been almost exclusively video-exclusive. Last month, Willis’ family announced his retirement from work as a result of aphasia, a condition that hampers one’s ability to speak and understand language. It was sobering news to learn more about the longtime action star whose films have grossed over $5 billion over his career.

Aphasia is of course not Alzheimer’s disease, but the two degenerative conditions can have similar effects on those who are diagnosed as well as on their families. It is clear that Willis’ condition has affected his work on film sets in recent years and in the memoryA fictional narrative, Alex Lewis’ work is negatively affected by his struggles with retrieval. Neeson, meanwhile, is fortunate to be able to continue his work and is clearly aware of the trauma that Willis and his family are facing. Neeson, too, experienced his own tragedy years ago when his wife, Natasha Richardson, died at the age of 45 from a brain injury after a skiing accident.

Remake of the 2003 Belgian thriller de zak alzheimer (memory of a killer), which is itself adapted from Jeff Gerets’ 1985 book of the same name, memory It failed in several key aspects. The plot of the labyrinth does not care much about the victims of the criminal activity in which it is investigated. The dialogue of several characters turns into a cacophony of snoring Texas. More importantly, her treatment of the disability offers almost no clue as to its nature or prognosis: early Alzheimer’s here is little more than another way of characterizing. Fortunately, the evergreen charisma of superstar Liam Neeson and action cuts keeps him watching memory Somewhat exciting if, after all, unforgettable.

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