Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Movie Review: "A Walk Among the Tombstones" (2014)

Movie"A Walk Among the Tombstones"
Director: Scott Frank
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 53 minutes
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Matt Scudder (Liam Neeson) is a former New York City police officer and is now working as an unlicensed private investigator.  A drug trafficker named Kenny Kristo (Dan Stevens) hires Scudder to find the men who kidnapped and murdered his wife. 

Liam Neeson is such a badass!

This is a pretty good thriller, but is not your typical whodunit private investigator movie. The identities of the people who were responsible for purporting the crimes committed throughout the film are no secret to the audience, which does take away a little bit of suspense. As audience members, we have been conditioned to expect a twist or a surprise with every single movie that we see; in other words, THANKS M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN. This time, we are left with no real turns or twists whatsoever. We kept waiting for some big conspiracy or a giant reveal that ultimately never came to fruition. Instead, this movie is simply about watching Liam Neeson unfold the story himself as an unlicensed P.I. and former cop, and with all the blood and disturbing actions of the psychopathic villains that ensues.

There's not much of a difference in Neeson's character besides his profession from, say, the last 6 or 7 movies we've seen him in, and we're okay with that. It's pretty cool to watch an older guy who can still kick ass and make us scared enough to never want to cross him in real life. That being said, he is always going to be Irish, so the decision to make him speak with a New York accent (which is usually pretty distinct in and of itself) is almost baffling. His accent just isn't that good in this film or ANY film, to be honest, and he goes in and out of it frequently. Though he tries his best, the Irish twang always seems to get the best of him. It's nice to see Dan Stevens getting movie roles since leaving "Downton Abbey," which is the reason he quit in the first place, to become a ~*movie star~*. He does do a convincing American accent, much better than Neeson, at least. The acting as a whole is serviceable, but it's nothing spectacular. The film banks a lot on the creepy, overtly rape-y scenes of the women who are kidnapped being "seduced" (if you can call it that) and molested and mutilated, which makes for a very uncomfortable viewing experience, though this is what it hopes to accomplish. The filmmakers really wanted to drive home the fact that the kidnappers are completely amoral barbarians, and again, they did their job with regards to that. The pacing can be described as a slow-burning crawl, though the "burn" here is more of a spark or a flicker. It's not Neeson at his best, but it made for a decent viewing experience on a slow Tuesday afternoon.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 66%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "Insidious: Chapter 2"

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