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Memory
cast: Billy Zane, Dennis Hopper, Ann-Margret, Terry Chen, and Tricia Helfer

director: Bennett Davlin

95 minutes (15) 2007
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
Scanbox DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 6/10
reviewed by James A. Stewart
Boasting a splendid little cast, Memory is a psychological thriller of a different kind. Dr Taylor Briggs, played by Billy Zane (Three, Going Overboard, The Phantom), comes into contact with a hallucinogenic substance while in the Amazon region of South America, which has the effect of unleashing genetically stored memories of a serial killer in Briggs. Of course, genetic memories mean that family are involved somewhere. Briggs' father, (Dennis Hopper, Easy Rider, Speed) is of course the prime suspect, or is he? And there is the premise for 90 minutes of chip and charge drama as Briggs sets about trying to right wrongs and save lives against an increasingly blurred reality.

There are a number of irksome little coincidences in Memory, such as Dr Briggs being an expert in, well, memory functions of the brain: phew! That was lucky. As well as this, there is Hopper's habit of just turning up on occasion, geography being no barrier here. Also, Memory does have a decidedly B-movie feel to it, as if it was intended for TV but then got caught somewhere between the big screen and the 42-inch HD ready world of the home movie brigade. Those are the bad points. Director Bennett Davlin is in the early stages of what could be a promising career, and also takes some of the writing credit on Memory. He comes up with some decent shots and a handful of suspense. Thankfully, gore is not a mask used to hide a poor storyline in Memory and Davlin makes decent use of what is a purposeful cast for such a wet-behind-the-ears director. Ann-Margret (Tommy) is her usual wonderful self, and Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica) displays no little potential.

The twists and turns don't come at Maradona '86 pace, but nonetheless are welcome relief from a limited script. The concept is fine and you can't help wondering if it was exploited to its full potential, and in the hands of some more experienced producers, this could have been a winner. It is a good, solid, and enjoyable movie: that's all. Memory is passable and above average across the piece: a fine cast and a far-fetched storyline combining to give a film that is worth watching, and there are a few members of the cast and crew perhaps embarking on the early part of what could be a fruitful career in the industry.
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