Thursday, March 24, 2016

An improbable tale about a Nazi hunter

Few things are as depressing in the world of filmgoing than a movie that misses its mark when it's trying to be serious, perhaps even profound. Such is the case with director Atom Egoyan's Remember, a story about a Nazi-hunting old man portrayed by Christopher Plummer). Plummer plays Zev, a widower who resides in an assisted living facility. At the behest of his pal Max (Martin Landau), Zev embarks on a mission. He's supposed to visit four men, one of whom might be the Nazi officer who murdered Zev and Max's families in Auschwitz. When Zev finds the right man, he'll kill him. Zev, who's suffering from dementia, has difficulty keeping things straight, so he carries a letter of instructions that Max has carefully written for him. Zev's encounters become increasingly strange, and the movie completely derails when Zev meets the son of a former Nazi (Dean Norris). From that point on, Remember becomes less and less credible and even a bit ridiculous. A last-minute twist and a strong cast can't redeem Benjamin August's misguided screenplay. Remember seems to want to deal with issues of memory and denial, but can't find a plausible enough story to get the job done.

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