A Walk among the Tombstones (Universal Pictures, R)

film Walk-among-the-tombstones_smAnd yes, if you are wondering, the film does contain a couple “I will find you and I will kill you” lines.

 

film Walk-among-the-tombstones 

Based on Lawrence Block’s bestselling series of mystery novels comes the new Liam Neeson crime thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones. I call it the “Liam Neeson crime thriller” because, frankly, without the guy, this movie would not be worth sitting still for the 114-minute runtime. Don’t get me wrong: In the end, I thought it wrapped up pretty well, but without Neeson “doing his thing,” I think it would be the usual cookie-cutter, good-guy hunts bad-guy chase. Laced with some dry attempts at humor and a slight hint of predictability, the movie flows at a different pace compared to his tremendous hit from a couple years ago, Taken. 

As Neeson mentioned, he was a little hesitant after reading into the beginning of the script: “Here we go, here’s another fucking telephone call, talking to the bad guys.” (Yup, exactly.) Luckily, by the time Neeson finished reading, he made up his mind. And yes, if you are wondering, the film does contain a couple “I will find you and I will kill you” lines, but I guess that just comes with the actor, whether we like it or not.

Written and directed by Scott Frank (The Lookout), the story is based in New York City and plays right on the edge of law with what is right and wrong. Neeson, as Matt Scuddler, is quite persuasive as an ex-NYPD cop. Now an unlicensed private eye, he gets into a vicious game of helping a heroin trafficker, Kenny Kristo (Dan Stevens), pursue the (homosexual) couple who heartlessly murdered his beautiful wife. In addition to chopping her up into little pieces and returning her in plastic bags, they also snatched the $400,000 Kristo desperately delivered in hope of saving her. 

As the storyline unfolds, we soon find out that she was not their first (or last) victim, and they begin their game once again. Scuddler, with some demons of his own, turns out to be a likeable character, talking his way out of situations before throwing unnecessary punches. As simple as it might sound, there are a couple of unexpected plot twists that add the needed spark to the film, and keep us at least a bit interested in what is about to happen. Also, straight from The X-Factor comes Brian “Astro” Bradley with his second film (following Earth to Echo). He does a decent job of acting as the sticky glue, pulling all the parts together in a very human way, playing TJ as a smart, orphaned street kid. 

A Walk among the Tombstones will have its share of moviegoers who are super excited to see Liam Neeson “do his thing” once again, bringing justice to the unruly criminals who plague the screen. For the plentiful fans of Taken, it might come as a slight disappointment, but even though the film is not exactly completely innovative, it is still somehow able to keep the audience entertained throughout the whole two-hour search for justice. | Lea Vrábelová 

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