Film review: Honest Thief
Film review: Honest Thief
In recent years, Liam Neeson has become best known for action thrillers like Taken, The Commuter and Cold Pursuit. At 68, he is perhaps feeling the pull of his age a bit as his latest screen offering, is a watered down, albeit still enjoyable, action thriller with a side serve of romance.
Neeson is Tom Carter, an ex-Marine-turned-bank-robber with advanced knowledge of explosives who decides to go straight after unexpectedly falling in love with Annie, the woman running the storage unit he uses (Kate Walsh). Consequently, he decides to give himself up to the FBI and seek a reduced sentence in return, in order that he can marry Annie after leaving prison and they can live happily ever after.
Naturally however, his wishes do not go according to plan and Neeson ends up in a game of cat-and-mouse with the FBI in which his smarts and explosive knowledge are pitted against theirs, in particular one crooked agent who decides that Neeson’s net takings of $9 million should end up in his own pocket. (Don’t worry, this happens early on so is not a spoiler).
The body count is nowhere near as high as Taken and the script is a little cheesy at times (“Agent Nevins, I’m coming for you”) but Neeson’s charisma means he is rarely anything but watchable, and Walsh (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, 13 Reasons Why) has enough on-screen presence to render her a real person, as opposed to just ‘the girlfriend’.
Set in Boston and filmed in Worcester, Massachussetts, Honest Thief is directed by Mark Williams (co-creator of the acclaimed Netflix series, Ozark).
“It has the action, the thrills, car chases, guns going off, things exploding. But at the heart of it, it’s a love story, and to me that’s the most important thing,” says Williams.
“The themes of the story really revolve around second chances and redemption. Both characters, Tom and Annie, find themselves in situations where the past hasn’t been so kind to them. And this situation gives them an opportunity to, not only find a second opportunity in life, but find love in the process.”
For his part, Neeson jumped at the chance to play the character of Tom. “I did like the script. I know that’s a cliche to say that, but I love writers. I have a ‘cup of tea test’. If I start reading the script and I get to page six and I decide, ‘Oh, I must get a cup of tea’, it’s not a good sign. With this one, I got to the end of it and thought, ‘I must make a cup of tea, this is giving me pause for thought’.”
Honest Thief opens in cinemas around Australia and New Zealand on 22 October.