Director: Mark Williams
Genre(s): Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Runtime: 99 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13
To enjoy the Liam Neeson crime-thriller Honest Thief, expectations should be tempered. Try to think of it as a piece of Taken (2008)-lite, and you might find yourself pulled in. Liam Neeson stars as Tom, an infamous bank robber who decides to turn himself in and lead an honest life, but, needless to say, things go awry.
Honest Thief works on the basic level of the audience wanting to see the protagonist overcome the odds and succeed. Yeah, I know that sounds like I’m damning the picture will faint praise, but the film works better as a root-for-the-good-guy-and-hiss-at-the-bad-guys drama than as an action spectacle. Liam Neeson plays his usual nice tough guy and the script is sometimes predictable or padded-feeling.
When the action scenes do arrive, they’re fair. The body count’s microscopic, so don’t expect the near-indiscriminate slaughter of, say, Taken. The somewhat restrained chaos takes the form of car chases and point-blank-range shootouts. It feels smaller in scale than some of Neeson’s other actioners, but I suppose that this gives the movie an intimacy to the onscreen happenings that some epic superhero flicks lack.
Sure, Kate Walsh (as Annie, Neeson’s character’s girlfriend) feels out-of-place at times and, sure, it feels like it would’ve gone direct-to-video if it didn’t feature a star the caliber of Neeson, but this is a well-paced action-thriller that will tie over fans of the lead actor. Well, it’s not boring, and it succeeds in a I-hope-this-character-doesn’t-die sort of way. So, I’d recommend getting in the right state of mind, and not expecting a throat-punchathon.
My rating is 7 outta 10.