Our favorite action hero (of a certain age...) is back again. And his favorite director Jaume Collet-Serra ("Non-Stop" and "Unknown"), working from a script by Brad Ingelsby, doesn't leave us much time to breathe.
I can't think of one cliché that was left unexploited, but remember, I have always said clichés become clichés because they work, as a result, after formulaic (and endless) fisticuffs, gun-play and vehicular mayhem, the last 10 minutes of this movie had us holding our collective breath.
Here we have an aging hitman taking on his former boss (and childhood friend) in order to protect his own son from the former boss's wacko son. The dialogue that explains all of this is overwrought and tedious. Both Harris and Neeson are highly capable actors, so I blame the script.
- * Liam Neeson ("Taken 3") Jimmy Conlon is the hitman in question. This movie starts with him dying and voicing his regrets for the way he has lived his life. Then we go back 12 hours to see how this came about.
- * Joel Kinnaman ("RoboCop") is his decent, law-abiding (and alienated) son Mike. Mike has a job, a family, plus a deep and abiding dislike for his murderous father.
- * Ed Harris ("Pain & Gain") Shawn Maguire will do anything to keep his son alive, even though he knows he "went wrong."
- * Boyd Holbrook ("The Skeleton Twins") Shawn's son Dannydepends on his father to bail him out once more; this time from some cut-throat Albanians.
- * Jelani Robert Joseph in his first role, is Marcus, a fatherless youngster who looks to Mike for guidance. He is in a position to really help Mike.
- * Common ("Selma") Mr. Price is the fellow to call when someone is tough to kill. He ALWAYS delivers!
- * Vincent D'Onofrio ("The Judge") Detective Harding is the only copJimmy trusts, even though he has been trying to arrest him for years.
The foreshadowing is painted with such broad and obvious strokes, it was hard to sit through, but as I said, the last 10 minutes pay off.