Riding high on a wave of Next Big Thing-dom after The Last Seduction, director John Dahl hit a stumbling block with this follow-up, which made a swift exit from US cinemas in the face of critical drubbing and public indifference, and has taken almost two years to reach these shores. It's heartening then, to report that Unforgettable, while not matching the cool excellence of Dahl's earlier efforts, is by no means an unmitigated disaster.
Liotta is Dr. David Krane, a major league criminal pathologist with the inevitable past: his wife was murdered four years ago and he took the rap, but was let off on a technicality. Determined to nail the killer and clear his name, he stumbles across mousy scientist Martha Briggs (an almost unrecognisable Fiorentino), who has developed a wonder drug allowing a person to experience the memories of others. Krane heists the potion (giving scant thought to the fact it hasn't been tested on humans) and sets about injecting himself with his wife's memories, but despite reliving her horrific murder is unable to picture the attacker's face and has to repeatedly shoot up in order to crack the mystery.
This comes across as a superior version of the millions of thrillers that are released straight to video every week, mixing flashy hallucinations and trumped-up psychobabble with a story which may be predictable - red herrings are telegraphed long before their arrival and the killer's identity is far from surprising - but is none the less enjoyable for it. Liotta delivers the goods with ease, despite spending the majority of his time panting up and down corridors, while Fiorentino, cast boldly against type, makes an appealing boffin. It's at least 20 minutes too long, and is let down badly by a peculiar, ill-judged denouement, but otherwise this is much better than the Yanks would have us believe.