‘Memory’ largely a trip to forget

Kelly Hurla / Washburn Review

Have you ever watched a movie that had the potential to be great, but just couldn’t achieve that greatness?

That’s what happened when I watched one of Netflix’s top 10 recommendations for me.  This one was entitled “Memory.”

Reading the brief description of the plot might not have been enough alone for me to choose this particular movie.

“Dr. Taylor Biggs (Billy Zane) is haunted by a past that’s not his own. A hallucinatory drug gives him the power to see visions of vicious crimes, visions made all that more disturbing when he discovers that the murderous memories may belong to the father he never knew (Dennis Hopper).

“Deirdre Blades co-stars as Biggs’s mother, whose own failing memory makes her powerless to help him unravel his family history,” states Netflix.

If it weren’t for Zane and Hopper, this probably would have been lost to one of the thousands of choices I have out of the streaming titles.

The movie takes off rather slow, with awkwardly delivered dialogue.  I’m actually wondering if Zane’s colleague is supporting a real “molestache” or if it’s just part of the movie magic, or lack there of.

In the next scene, the doctors are asked to do a consult while still in town for their conference.  The “scans” they’re asked to look at, literally have me laughing out loud as they appear to be something configured using the “Paint” program that I assume is equipped on almost every computer.

After viewing these “scans” it’s inferred that the patient is inflicted with what appears to be cancer, but only attacking the areas of memory.  As Zane’s character searches through the patient’s bag for clues, he rips his glove and becomes exposed to the substance we later find out is responsible for the strange memory mumbo-jumbo.  His hallucinations begin shortly after.

Throughout the film, I find the usual boring elements. Zane’s character sees visions of a serial killer that are “real,” but nobody believes him at first.  He meets a women and they eventually fall in love.  For the most part, even the twists are pretty predictable.

The movie really gets exciting after the second plot point, however when Zane discovers who the real killer is and is hot on their trial.  The last 20 minutes of the film almost make up for how slow the rest of the film is.

Overall, it’s a film that I don’t feel was entirely a waste of my time in comparison to other “gems” in Netflix’s instant selection.  I only wish more time and money could have been spent on the project and that the intensity of the last 20 minutes could be the same throughout the film’s entirety.