Private investigator Matthew Scudder is hired by a drug kingpin to find out who kidnapped and murdered his wife.
Though I haven't watched a lot of them yet (I've mainly devoted my time, of late, to catching up on 1920-1970s cinematic milestones), I have a profound respect for the new roles Liam Neeson has taken on in recent years. It makes me think of what would have been had my favourite actor ever, James Cagney, hadn't basically retired for the quiet life in the early 60's, when the perfect storm of 'great actors in B-movies' hit the fans. My lady is more a horror aficionado, and of recent vintage films, so it was nice to throw this on for a spin and show her its neo-noir tendencies, almost as if going through a 'make your own movie' template, checking them off one-by-one. I don't mind that sort of rote predictability if it's done right, and, though heavily flawed, for the most part it does. By the climax, I basically only cared for four things: that the kidnapped girl, Matthew Scudder and TJ were alive, and that the two kidnappers/murderers got their just desserts, whether it be lengthy incarceration or murder, anything so their crime spree would be ended. The film was well-made and a very enjoyable experience, so considering the relatively minor flaws (especially the one-dimensional aspect of the antagonists), I would definitely recommend at least a watch for most cinephiles out there, especially those interested in 'true crime' type of contemporary American cinema.
This movie had quite some premise and it is a decent enough movie but, sadly, it never really rises out of the ordinary. We have some really despicable criminals and I mean some real creepy nutcases and we have Liam Neeson as a gritty former cop turned private investigator. Good recipe to start with I would say. Unfortunately it never really took off. Liam Neeson is doing a good job of portraying the former cop and he is pretty much making the picture. The creepy guys are, well creepy but they never really get to shine in their creepiness. Most of the other characters around are just decoration with the possible exception of the young brat whom I personally just found annoying. Speaking of annoying I have to say that the AA sessions and the voice overs from them pretty much falls into that very category. They felt at best like unnecessary fillers to me. I do not know why it is so popular to portray “heroes” as drunks or former drunks. The movie is not a quick paced one. It is more of a thriller than a action one although there are a few outbursts of action. Sometimes it goes quite far down the road of some real detective work and sometimes it just jumps about leaving a few inconsistencies and plot wholes hanging around. I would say that this movie is a fairly ordinary, good but nothing special, crime story about two psychopaths and a gritty former coop given the task of chasing them down. Without Liam Neeson as a lead actor more or less carrying the movie along it would have been a fairly bland movie.