Honest Thief - Liam Neeson
Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Honest Thief finds Liam Neeson back in action

Liam Neeson returns to the action genre in Open Road Films, Honest Thief from director Mark Williams. Tom Carter (Neeson) has just moved to a new city when he meets Annie Stumpter (Kate Walsh) while purchasing a storage unit. The two hit it off and end up dating for the next year, culminating with Tom wanting Annie to move into the new home he’s purchased. However, Tom has a secret past life as a non-violent bank robber known as the “In-and-Out Bandit.”

Wanting to start fresh with his new lady love, Tom decides to turn himself into the FBI and reaches out to Sam Baker (Robert Patrick). Thinking it’s a hoax, Baker sends agents Nivens (Jai Courtney) and Hall (Anthony Ramos) to investigate. Seeing a chance to pocket the $9 million Tom has stolen over the years, Nivens and Hall decide to double-cross Tom. Realizing he’s been set up, Tom is forced to go on the run to clear his name.

It’s been twelve years since Irish actor Liam Neeson found a career resurgence as an action star, starting with the film Taken. Some movies were a bit better than others, but the actor has always delivered a quality performance. Steve Allrich’s & Mark William’s script for the film follows the same template established in previous Neeson films.

Neeson portrays a likable everyman who has a particular set of skills acquired over a very long career. One of the things viewers will notice different about this film is that Neeson’s butt-kicking scenes actually takes a back seat to the drama this time around.

While there are action sequences in the film, Honest Thief doesn’t give Tom Carter plot armor. At the age of 69, while Neeson is still in shape, it was refreshing to see the actor use his wits and brains instead of a gun and his fists. 

Even during the scenes where Carter engages in fisticuffs with the antagonists, the fights are believable and never come across as one-sided victories for our hero. In terms of acting at this point, Neeson can walk through a role like this in his sleep, which is fine, since he’s good as an action hero.

Outside of Kate Walsh, as Tom’s love interest, the supporting cast really doesn’t have much to do, other than to serve as place holders. Robert Patrick’s role as an FBI agent isn’t anything we haven’t seen do him before. Simultaneously, the usually reliable Jai Courtney seems to only be in the film for a paycheck. Courtney’s character of Nivens is vastly underwritten, and his motive for wanting to double-cross Tom comes off as forced.

The same plot point befalls Anthony Ramos’s character of Agent Hall. Known primarily for his dramatic work and singing career, the part of a bad guy just doesn’t fit Ramos. While I love seeing Ramos on screen, I feel that his character traits should’ve been swapped with Jeffrey Donovan, who portrays a clean FBI agent. Donovan has a history of playing bad guys and would’ve had better chemistry with Ramos, in my opinion.

Liam Neeson has cashed numerous checks breaking the necks of bad guys over the years. Honest Thief is another addition to his already impressive resume. Despite the predictability and my issues with Tom’s closure, I still recommend the film as a quick time waster.

Final Grade B-

Honest Thief opens in theaters today October 16

Movie Clappers

More to explorer

Babes is a successful mix of heart and profanity

Pamela Adlon, an actress who has transitioned into a director, presents a heartwarming and uproarious comedy as her debut in “Babes,” produced by Neon Films. Ilana Glazer and Josh Rabinowitz pen the film’s screenplay. Inseparable childhood friends Eden (Ilana Glazer) and Dawn (Michelle Buteau), having grown up together in NYC, are now firmly in different phases of adulthood. Every Thanksgiving, the two decide to meet for a movie, but things take a surprising turn when Dawn goes into labor.

Sans the overlong run time Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga delivers the action goods

Australian filmmaker George Miller returns to the post-apocalyptic action-adventure genre for his eleventh film, “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga,” from Warner Bros. Miller collaborated with Nico Lathouris to co-write the screenplay for the fifth installment in the “Mad Max” franchise. This installment is a spin-off and prequel to the previous film, “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

The Last Stop in Yuma County is an impressive debut

Francis Galluppi, the writer and director of this debut film, “The Last Stop in Yuma County,” takes audiences on a thrilling journey reminiscent of the grindhouse era. This tense and gripping thriller is set in the unforgiving desert landscape of Arizona, following a nameless young knife salesman (Jim Cummings) who finds himself in a perilous hostage situation at a remote desert rest stop.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

© Copyright Reviews & Dunn. All rights reserved

website designed by Red Robin Digital designers