This week on "Justin Hall At The Movies," I'll be reviewing Liam Neeson as a criminal trying to go straight in "Honest Thief."
Ever since he starred in Taken back in 2009, Liam Neeson has been in a lot of movies where he's played some variation on that character. Well, I guess he's still using the old adage of "If it's not broke, don't fix it." However, in a lot of cases, it needs serious fixing and that's evident in his latest effort, Honest Thief.
Neeson stars as Tom Carter, a former Marine turned bank robber known as The In-and-Out Man, who falls in love with a storage manager (Kate Walsh) and wants to start a new life to be with her.
In a twist on a formulaic plot like this, Tom decides to call the FBI and turn himself in. Jai Courtney and Anthony Ramos are two agents assigned to investigate the case, but as soon as Tom reveals the location of all the money he's stolen, they decide to take the money.
Tom is now on the run in that tried-and-true cliche of trying to establish his innocence and keep his girlfriend safe.
Tom uses his experience as a bomb specialist to set up elaborate traps in order to make the agents give up, but each time, his efforts only make them more desperate much like the movie's plot makes us wish for something original.
Neeson can still handle the action scenes at his age, and he seems to have graduated from the Harrison Ford School of Geriatric Action Hero, but the story gets more and more mired in idiotic territory.
There's no real sense of suspense or tension because we know more or less who the characters will do and what they're motivations are. Any attempts at turning this concept fresh are doomed by a lame-brain execution.
Honest Thief thinks if it's made with enough skill and competency, it can skate by us without realizing how dumb and boring it comes off.
This movie does steal money, all right. Unfortunately, it's the poor sucker who buys a ticket.
(Rated PG-13 for crude references, brief strong language, and strong violence.)