I went in to A Walk Among the Tombstones expecting Taken 3. After all, Liam Neeson is hired to track down a pair of murderers because of his “particular set of skills.” Though on paper, this sounds like part three in the Taken franchise. However, you would be wrong to mistake the two. Don’t get me wrong, when the action hits, it hits hard thanks to some great sound design, but don’t go in expecting an action movie. This movie, at it’s heart, is a gritty detective story.
Neeson plays a somewhat dirty ex-cop (Matt Scudder) turned private investigator after a traumatic experience in 1991. Through an AA meeting he stumbles upon a case involving a missing drug dealers wife who was kidnapped and brutally murdered. Accompanied occasionally by a young homeless boy TJ, (Astro, Earth to Echo, X Factor) Scudder tracks down clues in order to get to the truth. The interplay between these two was enjoyable though, at times, felt out of place in an otherwise dark drama. Still, it was nice to come up to breathe on occasion in a movie that could otherwise be oppressively dark and dreary.
Speaking of dark and dreary, how ’bout them kidnappers? I sure nailed that segway… These guys were creeps. They were despicable human beings. Dare I say it, I hated them. Well, their characters.. not the actors portraying them. “Was that her name?” One of them exclaims when Neeson shares the name of a previous victim. “When they’re in the van they are just meat.” Their utter disregard for human life will send chills down your spine.
A Walk Among the Tombstones is not a movie for everyone. It delves into the dark places of addiction, kidnapping, and murder, where the black and white lines of morality fade to grey. Though we only get small glimpses into the way in which each woman is murdered, it’s enough to lose a little more faith in humanity. This movie is not for kids, and I would not suggest it to many adults due to the realism and grisliness of it all. That is not to say it’s not a well-made movie, it is… but like Prisoners last year, A Walk Among the Tombstones will leave you with a heavy feeling that is hard to shake.
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