Liam Neeson is just one of those cool guys, that everyone loves and roots for. The same applies for his latest project: A Walk Among The Tombstones. He kicks ass and, yes, he talks on the phone.
Adapted from the novels by Lawrence Block, the Scott Frank helmed film sees Liam Neeson take on the role of hard man Matthew Scudder - a former cop and recovering alcoholic that, now, works for himself, taking crime into his own hands.
When approaching missions, he's very cautious to take paid assignments but when Dan Stevens' drug dealing Kenny Kristo approached him, to help avenge the death of his wife, Scudder can't help but get involved and soon, is out on dangerous territory to find these chaotic killers and make sure they don't strike again, ever.
The premise definitely sounds intriguing and the story and the tone is set up rather well, when we dive into the horrifying flashback of Kristo's wife being abducte and getting tortured, before getting killed. It's dark and moody and sets this film well.
However, what follows just jumps from mood to mood. At times, this can go into VERY grey territory and can become thrilling and awfully mournful - maybe even occasionally too mournful. Then, at other points, it can become too light and ruin the whole atmosphere. Sure, lighting the mood a little can always be good but the way it fluctuates in this is just clumsy and out of place - ripping the dreary tone from this film that, in effect, strives for being dreary; like you're watching one of these old-school detective shows.
Let me just say one thing, this is a gritty and disturbing film. It is very, very dark and takes the story into unreeling and pretty morbid situations and, for the most part, this works. This approach really fits this film and makes it intense and gripping and, ultimately, enjoyable. However, it's not for everyone.
Neeson, as always, delivers an exceptional performance. There is no need to worry about him. These types of dark, brooding, action films are what he's best in and, A Walk Among the Tombstones is no different. The action isn't very heavy in this but when it arrives, it flies fast and it flies thick and Neeson is BADASS.
His character isn't exactly a good guy and we find out that has done some sinister things but you still love him and you're still always rooting for him, just because Neeson is so good in selling this role, making it belivable. We've seen him in these roles loads before but no one can quite do it the way he does, that's for sure.
Also to be commended is Astro - the boy from America's The X Factor - who plays TJ, Scudder's young associate/friend. He's rather good in his role and there is veritable chemistry between him and Neeson on-screen.
But, where the protagonists hail, the antagonist fails. I'll commend Stevens for being the most realistic villain that Neeson has had to take on - actually putting up a good fight - but, in terms of acting, he doesn't really make a prominent bad guy and the whole suspense and tension being built up is just lost. He, definitely, can't compare to the ace acting from Neeson.
A Walk Among The Tombstones is film noir. With a meaty plot and some hard action, this grim thriller will hit fast and will hit hard.
About the Author
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.