Seraphim Falls (USA, 2007)

seraphim_falls-470x665Directed by: David Von Ancken. Liam and Pierce in cowboy hats—why not? Placing this movie on the Neeson Continuum, the Neeson Meter, the Neeson Venn Diagram, what have you, I have to place it a bit lower than the last one I saw, Non-Stop, for a few reasons. First of all, Neeson isn’t the main character, he’s the antagonistic baddie who, to be fair, has a complex and humanizing backstory that slowly reveals him to have understandable and humanizing reasons for relentlessly pursuing Pierce Brosnan like prey. Even though that backstory is a traumatic event that shows us Neeson’s smiling, peaceful father figure transforming into the tortured, soulless, broken man that we love so much (and in a remarkably economical, time-efficient character arc), this is only one small part at the end of the movie. For the most part, Neeson is a sour-faced, heartless killer with a certain sense of ethics, and his characterization takes a backseat to Brosnan’s central screentime as the naturally sympathetic chased man. On top of these points, perhaps most importantly, Neeson is finally in a role (rare I think) that requires him to ditch his signature County Neeson brogue for an American accent. And even though it is, of course, more historically accurate that Brosnan and Neeson, native Irish lads though they are, adapt American accents when they play Civil War veterans, to me it’s not a real Liam Neeson movie if we can’t just all pretend that it makes perfect sense for Neeson to speak in his real accent and for nobody to say anything about it. So, these slights aside, it was an okay movie. Brosnan does a great job, and he’s a great match for Neeson here. There are some great little small roles from familiar faces: Michael Wincott (from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves!), Xander Berkeley (with a fake Irish accent talking to Brosnan and Neeson, pretty cute), Tom Noonan (the creepy old dude from Synecdoche, New York), Kevin J. O’Connor (the weird brother from There Will Be Blood), the one and only Wes Studi, and Anjelica Huston in probably the weirdest role in the movie, as some hallucinatory desert mirage lady—not to mention both of the weird gross brothers from It’s Always Sunny. So the final verdict is: good actor spotting, unique narrative, simple, pared down story, and some good Neesonisms, but some absolutely terrible dialogue and terrible fake Southern accents (from the American actors even). Not terribly high on the Neeson Meter, but it’ll check another one off the box for me.

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2 responses to “Seraphim Falls (USA, 2007)

  1. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2015 | Offhand Reviews·

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