Compared to Dr. Martha Briggs, Dr. Jekyll was a piker.
Dr. Briggs has developed a serum that allows people to assume the personality and memory of other human beings - even the recently dead. So far, she has tried it only on laboratory rats. But Dr. David Krane is so desperate to clear himself of accusations he murdered his wife that he is willing to try the serum on his own.
That’s the premise of the unfortunately titled “Unforgettable,” a science fiction thriller with large helpings of violence. With highenergy direction by John Dahl and an imaginative script by Bill Geddie, the film may satisfy those who enjoy action more than credulity.
Dr. Krane (Ray Liotta) still works as a forensic scientist for the Seattle Police Department, even though he remains under a cloud after his murder trial was voided by a technicality. When he hears of the research by Dr. Briggs (Linda Fiorentino), he seizes the opportunity to finally exonerate himself. First, he must uncover the real murderer.
His efforts take him on a perilous path. At a murder scene in a convenience store, he uncovers a piece of evidence that seems connected to his wife’s murder. Now, he must track down the hoodlum who may have committed both crimes.
Over fierce objections by Dr. Briggs, Krane continues the mindtransfer experiments, endangering his sanity and life. As he gets closer to the truth, both he and Dr. Briggs remain in danger of their lives.
This tricky stuff requires the cinematic sleight-of-hand of a Hitchcock. Dahl doesn’t quite fill the bill. He employs MTV editing for the hallucination sequences, which are full of gore and flashes of revelation. When the true criminal is exposed, it is something of a surprise. But by this time, the viewer may be too visually confused by the onrush of images.
As the end credits roll up, that lovely Nat “King” Cole standard, “Unforgettable,” is heard on the soundtrack. What a dumb idea.
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: “Unforgettable” Locations: Lincoln Heights, North Division and Coeur d’Alene cinemas Credits: Directed by John Dahl; starring Ray Liotta and Linda Fiorentino Running time: 1:51 Rating: R