If action cinema has taught us anything over the past few years, it’s this – don’t, under any circumstances, screw with Liam Neeson. Alas, the generic baddies at the heart of this fall’s dark crime thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones do exactly that and, in predictable fashion, pay for it dearly.
With Taken, its sequel, Unknown and Non-Stop under his belt, Neeson has a pretty winning formula for action fare – growl some threats, bark some commands and kick some serious ass. Whether this upcoming pic, less high-octane than high-atmosphere, will deviate from those three steps remains to be seen, but even it doesn’t, there are worse tickets to plunk down cash for than one that allows you to watch Neeson go through those same badass motions one more time.
At the least the new crop of images from A Walk Among the Tombstones reminds us that Neeson isn’t in it alone this time. Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey fame co-stars as a heroin trafficker whose wife is brutally murdered, an act that sets him and an alcoholic ex-cop (Neeson) on a path of vengeance.
Writer-director Scott Frank is best known as the screenwriter of Get Shorty, Out of Sight and Minority Report, but his last directorial effort, The Lookout, was a very strong and enjoyable noir. His involvement on A Walk Among the Tombstones is perhaps the best reason to hope that it emerges a cut above Neeson’s other recent action vehicles.
Here’s the official synopsis:
Based on Lawrence Block’s bestselling series of mystery novels, A Walk among the Tombstones stars Liam Neeson as Matt Scudder, an ex-NYPD cop who now works as an unlicensed private investigator operating just outside the law. When Scudder reluctantly agrees to help a heroin trafficker (Dan Stevens) hunt down the men who kidnapped and then brutally murdered his wife, the PI learns that this is not the first time these men have committed this sort of twisted crime…nor will it be the last. Blurring the lines between right and wrong, Scudder races to track the deviants through the backstreets of New York City before they kill again.
A Walk Among the Tombstones opens September 19th.