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Even though The Memory of a Killer is standard genre fare, it is also engaging and stylish.
All Critics (67)
| Top Critics (25)
| Fresh (56)
| Rotten (11)
| DVD (5)
It is distinguished by the intelligence of its plotting and the fullness of its characterizations: These are believable people, not merely plot fodder.
A jaw-dropping premise so smartly executed that if this movie weren't in Flemish I'd swear that Michael Mann had directed it.
Close, but not quite.
Though Memory works perfectly well as a policier, it works even better as a character study of a man losing his edge.
The film won't put you at the edge of your seat, but will keep your attention.
This Belgian film has the sheen of polished Hollywood product, amplified by continental elegance and depth.
The moral dilemmas raised by the assassin and Mr. Decleir's fierce performance are what make the stylish straightforward policier somewhat memorable.
Not only as good as any American thriller of the past several years, but boasts a totally unique premise.
exemplary crime stuff, complex anti-hero and all.
The unusual Antwerp locations, the visual style of the filmmaking, and the soulfulness of the performances make it a welcome European addition to the genre.
What if grandpa was a hit man, and he was rapidly losing his mind during a killer assignment?
The cat-and-mouse game that Ledda and especially Vincke play is fun to watch.
As we get older, we find ourselves not functioning as we once did, mentally and physically, so we need to take it easy. Angelo Leddo(Jan Decleir) does not have that option, even as he is losing his memory, because as his business partner Gilles(Patrick Descamps) puts it, people like them in the assassination business cannot retire. So, Angelo takes a job in Antwerp where he can also visit his brother in a rest home. The first part of the job goes as planned but he refuses to kill Bieke Cuypers(Laurien Van den Broeck), an 11-year old who was just at the center of a child prostitution investigation by Detective Chief Inspector Vincke(Koen De Bouw) and Detective Verstuyft(Werner De Smedt) who are also one step behind Angelo.
Even as it goes on much too long with its running debate on the meaning of justice, "The Memory of a Killer" still has moments where it shows the kind of movie it could have been. One key point comes when Angelo is worried if he killed somebody, but the movie does nothing really with this. Actually, the movie has less to do with his degrading memory(so nobody call any lawyers), than his mortality, proving that there is nothing more dangerous than somebody with nothing to lose, as the movie tries to get inside of his head.(For the record and from the information provided, I don't think he is suffering from Alzheimer's disease.) But again I have a problem believing a hitman would have trouble killing a child. At the same time, Angelo does seem rather honorable for his profession. In this job where even the killers are told not to ask questions, some crimes may be too much to handle. Then there are the cliches like the world weary cop(apparently one of a few detectives in Antwerp). So while the political situation in Belgium is unique, bureaucracy and power games seem to be everywhere. To be honest, I had never heard of pissing in a lock before.
A watchable thriller, but does feel like a drag at times. It'd have been better if they'd concentrated more on substance than style. 6.5/10.
An interesting premise, and quite suspenseful for the first half. Sadly, this becomes less about Decleir's struggle with Alzheimer's, and more mundane to the point of evaporating into nothingness. I give it three stars for a great first half.
A very neat story that just goes on a bit too long, I hear they have plans for an american remake, so I am interested. Good work between the hitman and the cop, and some very cool scenes, if only it could come together a little better.
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