Movie review: Memory drama ‘Remember’ is pretty forgettable
The clumsy “Remember” unspools in a cloying and manipulative fashion, relying on misdirections to keep its storyline moving forward.
What begins as a road movie for the older set becomes something much more sinister, an octogenarian “Memento” with a score to settle.
Christopher Plummer plays Zev Gutman, an elderly man living with dementia. His wife recently passed away, something he needs to be reminded of every time he awakens.
Max Rosenbaum (Martin Landau) is a fellow Auschwitz survivor in Zev’s assisted living facility. He writes Zev a detailed letter, slips him an envelope of cash and instructs him to hit the road to track down their captor from their concentration camp, who is now living under an assumed name. Zev goes on the lam but never gets very far before having to consult the letter to remind him who he is and where he’s headed.
Where he’s headed includes stops in Cleveland, Boise, Idaho, and Lake Tahoe, Nevada, his loaded gun at his side. Things derail when he meets up with a Nazi-loving state trooper, played by “Breaking Bad’s” Dean Norris, and the film’s final act includes a turn of events so over-the-top it calls the entire film’s logic into question.
Hit-or-miss director Atom Egoyan is way off here. He telegraphs the story’s arc early, and screenwriter Benjamin August relies heavily on happenstance to move the story along.
Plummer, now 86, is the film’s lone saving grace; his Zev is commanding and resourceful even as he stumbles through his journey unaware of his past. Too bad the performance is is wasted in a movie that is better off forgotten.
Rated R for a sequence of violence and language
Running time: 96 minutes