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SYNOPSIS: An aging hitman (Liam Neeson) is forced to take on his brutal former boss (Ed Harris) to protect his estranged son (Joel Kinnaman) and his family.

Review by Louise Keller:
Revenge and redemption are the themes of this edge of seat action thriller in which no sin goes unpunished and Liam Neeson searches for solace for his life's misdeeds. In another outing with director Jaume Collet-Serra (Non-Stop, Unknown), Neeson stands tall as Jimmy Conlon, a world-weary hitman who now lives with the burden of guilt for all the terrible things he has done. It's about fathers and sons, partners in crime and the lengths to which fathers will go to protect their own. It's a ripper of a film, filled with action, tension and drama. But it's not all thuggery and bullets; there's a well-paced, coherent story with underlying emotional pathos that offers plenty of opportunity for involvement on every level.

For years, Jimmy has done his partner Shawn Maguire's (Ed Harris) dirty work. But now that Shawn's business is legit, Jimmy has been sidelined into being useful to Shawn's lowlife son Danny (Boyd Holbrook). Whisky helps ease his pain. There's irony in the fact that Shawn has contempt for Danny, while Jimmy's exemplary, clean-living son Mike (Joel Kinnaman) has contempt for his father. But blood is thicker than water and although Shawn may tell Jimmy they will always cross the line together, when things go wrong after Danny double crosses Russian mobsters in a cocaine deal, it's Shawn against Jimmy. The camera circles around the two men like a hawk circles its prey when they face off at a restaurant, words as lethal as bullets. By now, we have seen of what both men are capable.

The development of the relationship between Jimmy and Mike is a crucial element of the film and we are already aware (much to his chagrin) that Jimmy plays no role whatsoever in Mike's family with his pregnant wife Gabriela Genesis Rodriguez) and their two young daughters. The heart stopping sequence at a remote cabin surrounded by woods is the precursor for the final confrontation between Jimmy and Shawn, when love and hate fuse together like a dragon's breath.

Highlights include a nail-biting late night car chase through New York city and a spectacular, tense sequence in a high-rise apartment complex involving Jimmy, Mike, a deadly hitman named Price (hip-hop star Common), the police and a young black kid (Aubrey Omari Joseph) that Mike is mentoring, who inadvertently witnesses a murder. One of the plot strands involves 'good cop' Detective Frank Harding (Vincent D'Onofrio), who is intent on getting Jimmy to write a list of the names of those he has killed. Watch out for Nick Nolte in an uncredited cameo as a family member who makes a revelation. Martin Ruhe's cinematography is exceptional as it depicts New York's never-ceasing pulse, as we get a real sense of life on the streets.

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(US, 2015)

CAST: Genesis Rodriguez, Liam Neeson, Joel Kinnaman, Vincent D'Onofrio, Ed Harris, Boyd Holbrook, Common, Bruce McGill

PRODUCER: Roy Lee, Michael Tadross, Brookly Weaver

DIRECTOR: Jaume Collet-Sera

SCRIPT: Brad Ingelsby


EDITOR: Dirk westervelt

MUSIC: Junkie XL


RUNNING TIME: 114 minutes



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