By Darlene Donloe
Liam Neeson is good at being badass. In his latest film, A Walk Among The Tombstones, out Fri., Sept. 19, Neeson, who flexed his muscle in Non-Stop and the Taken franchise, continues his tradition of kicking ass and taking names.
A thriller, A Walk Among The Tombstones is based on Lawrence Block’s bestselling series of mystery novels. In the film Neeson plays Matt Scudder, an ex-NYPD cop who now works as an unlicensed private investigator who has his own set of rules.
This detective drama begins when Scudder, a recovering alcoholic who quit the force after a horrific accident, reluctantly agrees to help a heroin trafficker (Dan Stevens) hunt down the men who kidnapped and then brutally murdered his wife.
This creepy mystery begins to unfold as Scudder discovers the men he is after may be serial murderers.
Putting his street smarts into play, Scudder makes his way through the backstreets of New York to try to find the men before they can kill again.
Liam Neeson and Brian Astro Bradley
While doing some research at the library, Scudder, who doesn’t like computers, meets a young homeless kid named TJ, played aptly by Brian Astro Bradley (Red Band Society, Earth to Echo). TJ becomes Scudder’s partner in crime – helping him to flush out the bad guys. Bradley, who has some choice dialogue in the film, is a gem on screen. He and Neeson, who has proven over and over again that he’s a true action star, have some true chemistry.
This movie is creepy. This movie is a bit spooky. This movie is terrifying. This movie is good.
The characters are wicked and the storyline is depraved. It’s a hard film to watch.
Neeson has a quiet strength about him in this film. He’s not outwardly badass, he oozes badass. Neeson has mastered the ability to lay back in the cut waiting for his moments.
David Harbor and Adam David play the villain/kidnappers in the film. They are frightening and eerie. The characters they play get off on cutting up women’s bodies and stuffing them in plastic bags. In the beginning, the women are alive and see and feel the terror. One of the scenes in a van is just horrific.
What’s glaring it its omission is the lack of roles for women in this film. The women play the victims, but not one woman has any significant dialogue. There are lines here and there, but it’s yet another telltale sign of women being edged out. Other than that, the movie works.
A Walk Among The Tombstones (Universal), written and directed by Scott Frank (The Lookout), stars Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, David Harbour, Sebastian Roche, Mark Consuelos, Whitney Able, Ruth Wilson, and Boyd Holbrook. The film is based on the novel by Lawrence Block. It is produced by Jersey Films’ Danny DeVito, Double Feature Films’ Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher, Exclusive Media’s Tobin Armbrust and Cross Creek Pictures’ Brian Oliver. It is executive produced by Kerry Orent, Adi Shankar, Tracy Krohn, John Hyde, Nigel Sinclair and Guy East.
On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (oh, yeah) and E (excellent), A Walk Among The Tombstones gets an E (excellent).