REVIEW — “A Walk Among the Tombstones”
Contrary to what the trailer may have you believing, this is not the next in the series of “Taken” films. Instead it is a gritty thriller that may be Neeson’s best work since 2011’s “The Grey.”
Yet another movie released this summer that is based on a novel, “A Walk Among the Tombstones” is taken from the tenth book by Lawrence Block featuring the Matthew Scudder character, here played by Liam Neeson. Neeson has recently made a series of films, each where he brandishes a gun while using a particular set of skills to set things right. Although these elements are present in “A Walk Among the Tombstones” its tone is more in line with the gritty late 70s vendetta films than any of his last few films. An ex-cop and ex-alcoholic, Matthew Scudder is now working as an unlicensed private investigator in NYC. Hired by a drug trafficker to hunt down the men who kidnapped and brutally murdered his wife, Scudder uncovers information that links the unsolved murders of a number of women in the area.
The basic plot has been seen many times before, but the way the story unfolds, the way it is shot, and the performance are all entrancing. This is a very dark, brooding, gritty film filled with tense moments and some truly disturbing scenes. Neeson’s performance is as enthralling as ever, and Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey” & “The Guest”) puts in an amazing performance as well. It’s impressive watching Stevens disappear into another unique role, especially when contrasted with his character in last week’s “The Guest.”
While the Unknown-Non-Stop-Taken films are fun, it’s far more rewarding watching Neeson kick-ass and take names in a movie worthy of his talent. Those looking for a light action-romp may be put off, but for people who prefer a little more grit with their action, this one is a winner.
4 out of 5 Stars