review by Bobby Blakey
Ever since his Taken series I am all here for anything with Liam Neeson getting kick some butt. Sure not all are winners, but I will always be there to find out. His latest film, Retribution looks to take us on a Speed like action journey and co-stars Matthew Modine, Noma Dumezweni, Jack Champion, Lilly Aspell, and Embeth David from Predators director Nimrod Antal. Could this be yet another great addition to Neeson’s action filmography or will it fail to ignite with audiences?
Liam Neeson stars in Retribution, an immersive ticking clock thriller that straps audiences in for a high-octane ride of redemption and revenge. When a mysterious caller puts a bomb under his car seat, Matt Turner begins a high-speed chase across the city to complete a specific series of tasks. With his kids trapped in the back seat and a bomb that will explode if they get out of the car, a normal commute becomes a twisted game of life or death as Matt follows the stranger’s increasingly dangerous instructions in a race against time to save his family.
The last few films Neeson has churned out have been a mixed bag with none of them really bringing the same energy as those that came before it. A lot of them have even started to feel like the straight to home release films that so many A list actors have been churning out. Thankfully Neeson himself is always to at least bring something strong to the role he is taking on. This latest film is a lot better than those last couple, but still pretty formulaic without a whole lot of anything to really help it stand out.
The majority of the film takes place in the car with Neeson and the kids and this helps to keep the film way more interesting than it might have been otherwise. We have seen films like this before and this one takes the idea and does its own thing while still playing it a bit too safe at times. Neeson seems to really be giving it
something here to try to make it stand out without having the physicality to fall back on. This also kind of hurts the film as fans have grown to love watching him kick ass and here he is just driving. At the same time it allows him to just act and do his thing and it makes it work.
The story is simple enough and has a fun twist to it all that really made it work a lot more than where it seemed like it was heading. The kids were an interesting addition although the son character is insanely annoying for most of the film. Not in just usual teen ways, but just an unlikable ass and I couldn’t wait for him to possibly bite it. He is my biggest issue with the overall film. The actor is fine, but the tone of the character just had me annoyed to where I wanted the whole thing to just stop.
Thankfully I stuck with it and ended up enjoying the flick. It is a fun little ride that is worth checking out. I just wanted more from it, but any chance I can get some Neeson on screen hen I am all in.
Decide for yourself and check out Retribution in theaters on August 25th from Roadside Attractions.