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.
Traveling Picture Show Company (TPSC), Jersey Films, Free State Pictures, Exclusive Media, Cross Creek Pictures, 1984 Private Defense Contractors, Da Vinci Media Ventures, Double Feature Films by Scott Frank, Lawrence Block.
Stars: Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, David Harbour, Boyd Holbrook.
Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Keywords: new york city based on novel or book murder mafia private investigator drugs alcoholic kingpin wife murder 1990s
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