Review of Memory (2022)

Memory (2022) is an action thriller starring Liam Neeson.

Here’s the premise: When Alex, an expert assassin, refuses to complete a job for a dangerous criminal organization, he becomes a target. FBI agents and Mexican intelligence are brought in to investigate the trail of bodies, leading them closer to Alex. With the crime syndicate and FBI in hot pursuit, Alex has the skills to stay ahead, except for one thing: he is struggling with severe memory loss, affecting his every move. Alex must question his every action and whom he can ultimately trust.

It’s a typical Liam Neeson film where he kills lots of bad guys and rescues damsels in distress. I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t he getting too old to play an action hero?

The jokes on us. The character’s age is part of the story. He’s experiencing symptoms of early onset Alzheimer’s and, to remember who he’s supposed to kill, has to write his assassination assignments on his arm with a magic marker. I actually enjoyed this clever plot twist. But that’s besides the point. I’m here to review Memory for FBI procedural accuracy.

In the film, a task force of FBI agents, a local detective, and a police officer on loan from Mexico are investigating sex trafficking along the border.

I appreciated how they portrayed the working relationship between the different law enforcement partners, although one FBI manager prominently depicted the myth that the FBI doesn’t play well with others. (Watch out for him).

In the opening scene, an agent goes undercover and the wires for his hidden recorder are taped to his chest. This is so “old school.” I won’t tell you how it’s done nowadays, but no agent is still using surgical tape to adhere a microphone to his hairy chest. The undercover agent’s identity is easily compromised when the microphone is discovered and the first of many shootouts begins as the task force barges in to save him.

Another FBI misconception that is prominent in this movie is about when the FBI investigates murders.

The first conflict between the FBI and the local police begins when the FBI manager shows up with task force members at the crime scene of a local murder.

No jurisdiction for the FBI’s presence is established, other than the manager is friends with the victim’s wife. Later, we learn about the connection between this murder and others and the sex trafficking case, but the initial predication to enter the homicide case is questionable. To learn when the FBI becomes involved in an investigation of a murder, read my blog post.

The movie presents the usual clichés about the FBI listed in my book, FBI Myths and Misconceptions, but it is a Liam Neeson project, so you know what you’re in for from the start.

Memory is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. Watch the official trailer here.

Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.

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