Rating: 4/5 Stars
Liam Neeson (Matthew Scudder), Dan Stevens (Kenny Kristo), Boyd Holbrook (Peter Kristo), Brian “Astro” Bradly (TJ), David Harbour (Ray), Olafur Darri Olafsson (Jonas Loogan)
In 1991, an off-duty NYPD cop Matthew Scudder was involved in an unwanted turn of events that made him quit the force with a baggage of regrets. The succeeding eight years of his life was spent withdrawing from alcoholism and posing as an unlicensed private investigator. Matthew’s life changed when Kenny recruited him to search for the men who kidnapped and dismembered his wife after giving a $400,000 ransom. Matthew reluctantly accepted the offer which led the rest of the story in a gritty and morbid film noir.
When Liam Neeson said that he has a very particular set of skills acquired in a very long career, the guy really meant it. Those skills can be very much reflected in this recent offering distributed by Universal Pictures. A Walk Among the Tombstones is another movie adaptation based on Lawrence Block’s novel of the same title and it lands at the box office charts on its opening weekend.
Evidently, Block’s ideal taste did not fail him. Even before the film materialised, he had been eyeing Neeson as a perfect talent to portray Scudder’s character. Who wouldn’t? Liam Neeson is, in fact, one of the most bankable actors today and he has unstoppably proven his brilliance and calibre through the recent Taken series that we all fell in love with. His brown corduroy coat exudes that inexplicable persona that can make any predictable plot unexpectedly oozing with a riveting thrill that only fits an American-thriller film like this.
Director Scott Frank shows a tasteful directing style that can take us back into nostalgic 1970’s thriller films. Although he doesn’t have an endless list of box office hits to cement his portfolio, he can be easily identified through some of his notable works such as the Minority Report and Marley & Me. His lack of award-winning experience did not hinder him from delivering a critically-acclaimed film like A Walk Among the Tombstones. His seamless skills as a director are mirrored in a methodical turn of sequence which add to the film’s sweet flow of success. While Neeson and Frank harmoniously developed a common interest to positively build the film, the villains are enveloped in easily forgotten roles with average acting displays. Nonetheless, A Walk Among the Tombstones is a smart depiction of unravelled mystery that is capable of ensuing appropriate emotions and reactions from its audience.
A Walk Among the Tombstones is a highly-recommended smart thriller that further stamps Neeson’s trademark skills. You might think that the story runs under-explained and the casting might be overqualified in uneventful film that focuses only on dismembered bodies of kidnapped victims, but these are just another side of the setting. Watch between the scenes and you too, will unfold personal issues of a regretful retired officer and how he manages to make amends to himself. Unlike Taken, this film has no calculated rules, only 12 Steps of AA.