Directed by: Scott Frank. Here we go again! True to form, this film fits the mould of the Liam Neeson genre so well—a broken man, tortured by his past, seeking redemption, etc—that it’s surprising it wasn’t written for Neeson, but instead is an adaptation of a Lawrence Block crime novel (I think he’s like Dennis Lehane for people who think Dennis Lehane is too fancy?). I’ll be honest with you guys: by now, it doesn’t matter what it is. If it has Liam Neeson, I’m gonna see it. And as far as that goes, this one was pretty okay. It was a touch more gruesome and violent and rapey than the average Neeson vehicle. This movie is trying to access “sophistication” and “depth”, as if by giving us details about how the sadistic killers dismember their victims, they’re going to make a movie as smart and shocking as Se7en or something. This is a dumb police procedural/private eye story, with a few attempts at something bigger (the killers were once hired by the FBI to kill drug dealers or something? Whatever—the film drops it as fast as it picks it up), but ultimately completely predictable and adequate. The rapport between Neeson’s grizzled P.I. and the plucky young African American kid who wants to be his sidekick is embarrassing, the dialogue groan-worthy at best, and condescendingly racist at worst. That whole thing is the part of the movie I try to just forget about when I think of this movie. But really, I don’t need to think about this movie too much in general. I saw it, it happened, Neeson was fine, but not great. This movie ticked off a few of the Neeson boxes that I like to tick off, but not all of them. If they make a bunch of sequels to this (and they just might), I don’t know how compelled I’m going to be to see them, Neeson or no Neeson.