Posted September 17, 2014 by editor in Film Reviews
 
 

A Walk Among The Tombstones Review


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Liam Neeson is back in action/thriller territory – but he seems to have hung up the Euro-trash spurs for now and instead has placed himself in the capable hands of writer/director Scott Frank (The Lookout).

Matthew Scudder (Neeson) is a retired police officer and current private investigator hired by a drug dealer to help avenge the death of his wife. Neeson (with no amount of doubt, uncertainty and brooding/thinking) takes the job and sets about research the mondus operandi of the kidnappers in order to take them down.

This all sounds great – but unfortunately all momentum built up is suddenly jettisoned so that Neeson can befriend a random “street-wise” black kid he met at his local library, randomly. For no reason other than a chance meeting, a large portion of the films running time is suddenly devoted to Scudder taking this intelligent, but street-wise-ass kid under his wing.

What could have become a very dark thriller indeed, instead choses to play out melodrama, occasionally getting back on track (towards the end), but for the most part is content to dwell with people who have suffered and are recovering from gloomy past deeds and past lifestyles.

The drama in itself is not unsuccessful, instead merely at loggerheads with the thriller aspect of the film. At nearly 2 hours this could have been a lean and hard hitting adult thriller.

Neeson is on very good form, as are the supporting cast. Scott Frank is generally a remarkable hand to have as a writer (and further proof that he is a good director as well) but on this occasion has bitten off more than we’d want to see him try to chew.

This is a step above the Euro-trash thrillers of Taken 2, Unknown and Non-Stop, but this one won’t register long after its release.

3 Stars

 

 

Steven Hurst


editor