Private investigator Matthew Scudder is hired by a drug kingpin to find out who kidnapped and murdered his wife.
|Release Date||:||September 18, 2014|
|Genres||:||Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller|
|Production Company||:||Double Feature Films, Jersey Films, 1984 Private Defense Contractors, Cross Creek Pictures, Exclusive Media Group, Traveling Picture Show Company (TPSC), Free State Pictures, Da Vinci Media Ventures|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Director||:||Scott Frank, Renee Burke|
|Writers||:||Scott Frank, Lawrence Block|
|Casts||:||Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, David Harbour, Boyd Holbrook, Adam David Thompson, Razane Jammal, Astro, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Marina Squerciati, Sebastian Roché, Mark Consuelos, Whitney Able, Maurice Compte, Marielle Heller, Annika Peterson, Frank De Julio, Laura Birn, Toshiko Onizawa, Patrick McDade, Luciano Acuna Jr., Hans Marrero, Kim Rosen, Eric Nelsen, Jon Goracy, Stephanie Andujar, Al Nazemian, Sophia Frank, Susham Bedi, Purva Bedi, Novella Nelson, Natia Dune, Genevieve Adams, Liana De Laurent, Danielle Rose Russell, David Anzuelo, Samuel Mercedes, Mike Figueroa, Mike Carlsen, Leon Addison Brown, Damion Lee, Jolly Abraham, Nina Polan, Briana Marin, Arthur Gerunda, Fabrizio Brienza, Dennis Jay Funny, Chinasa Ogbuagu, Louise G. Colón|
|Plot Keywords||:||based on novel, murder, mafia, private investigator, new york city, alcoholic, kingpin, wife murder, matt scudder|
Credits roll, and a haunting cover of "Black Hole Sun" by Nouela plays (the same song from the trailer). Its mellow and dilatory tune perfectly encapsulates the bleak, somber tone of this chilling thriller where Liam Neeson isn't the invincible badass his reputation usually proclaims. We first meet Matt Scudder (Neeson) in a flashback in the early 1990's where he clumsily takes down three crooks in a murky New York City. Fast forward to 1999, and he's retiredapparently scarred by his own incompetence on that wretched daylaying back at his favorite restaurant when an acquaintance (Eric Nelsen) informs him of a significant (unofficial) assignment. Oh no, a retired, gloomy detective returns for one last job? And yet, the film astonishingly manages to feature these kinds of irksome clichés but executes them in such an exceptional way as to overshadow their familiarity with the underlying compelling storyline and arresting cinematography.
Long story short: a drug dealer's (Dan Stevens) wife has been kidnapped and chopped into bits and pieces only to be nauseatingly dispersed in a park's pond. The remainder of the narrativeabout 25 minutes insees Scudder investigating and following the cunning tracks of two alarming killers. In that regard, the killers (David Harbour and Adam David Thompson) make for incredibly creepy villains, mirthfully indulging in the rape of young girls and innocent wives while videotaping the horror and asking for a substantial ransom from their respective families. Alas, the audience will be forced through disturbingly shot and edited sequences of helpless women exerting to lie still as execrable hands scale their fleshclose-ups of wide eyes and deathly pale skin.
On another note, many have been complaining that A Walk among the Tombstones isn't exactly the unpredictable and fast-paced mystery thriller they were expecting. However, that doesn't deem it a bad film, does it? Because it's clearly not attempting to (generically) fall into that category. Initially, I was also flabbergasted and immensely underwhelmed by David Fincher's Zodiac, presuming it to be a tense, brisk thriller; nevertheless, after a repeat viewing, I quickly realized that marketingwhile, yes, manipulating audience expectations shouldn't be an indicator of actual quality. If this particular movie was striving to be unpredictable yet you correctly predicted every single twist long before it came, then yes, it would've been a disastrous failure. Like Zodiac though, the movie is more about the grim and eerie atmosphere and, of course, the psychopathic killers themselves.
Aside from a few effectively humorous lines, this film is not the typical "crowd-pleaser expected from a post-Taken Liam Neeson picture, and the trailers clearly established that too. With that being said, it's still more exciting than a slow burn. As long as moviegoers accept its (effectual) dark aura and are successfully frightened by its imagery and subject matter, A Walk among the Tombstones will be a highly satisfying experience at the cinema. In fact, judging by its underwhelming box office results, I will even go so far as to say it might be the sleeper hit of this fall like Rush and Don Jon were last September.