Taken is child’s play compared to latest Neeson thriller

Liam Neeson is the man with particular skills who can kick copious amounts of ass to get them back and make the bad guys pay, writes Matt Adcock.

Liam Neeson in A Walk Among The Tomstones
Liam Neeson in A Walk Among The Tomstones

But what if the bad guys are nastier and scarier than you can imagine? What if they exhort money from people whose wives they have kidnapped – only to have already chopped up the loved one and if they return them at all, it will be in many bagged pieces?

A Walk Among The Tombstones deals with exactly this nightmare dark scenario, based on the best-selling mystery novel by Lawrence Block. Matt Scudder (Neeson) is a disillusioned ex-NYPD cop who now works as an unlicensed private investigator who often steps violently outside the law.

Private detective Scudder first hit the big screen back in 1986 when Jeff Bridges played him in 8 Million Ways To Die, but here he is commissioned to help drug dealer Kenny Kristo (the hot right now Dan Stevens) hunt down the men who kidnapped and then brutally murdered his wife.

Director Scott Frank ramps up the tension and doesn’t skimp on the sordid, grim, violent details. In fact A Walk Among The Tombstones makes the Taken films look like children’s tales in comparison to the twisted crime horror being meted out here, which is much more akin to films like Se7en. Well-crafted and acted, this is a classy kidnap-’em-up which will keep you hooked throughout.

Scudder walks the twilight world of the burnt out – fully prepared to blur the lines between right and wrong and go beyond what he could do when he was a cop. The investigation brings him into contact with a young homeless boy named T.J. (Brian Bradley) who immediately idolises him and wants to be a detective too – but who is unwittingly putting himself in harm’s way.

As the killers kidnap the cute young daughter of another drug dealer, the clock is ticking for Scudder to take on the deviants through the backstreets of New York City before they kill again. But has he bitten off more than he can chew this time?

If looking for some heavy-duty dark thrills, A Walk Among The Tombstones delivers – just don’t be expecting another Taken.