★★★, Reviews
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A Walk Among The Tombstones

walk among

  • Directed by: Scott Frank
  • With: Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, David Harbour
  • 114 Minutes

Liam Neeson is back for a mysterious and thrilling journey as a private detective and former police officer in order to find out who are the evil guys behind a series of murders involving dealers and their loved ones. For those who enjoyed Taken and for those who enjoy watching occasionally stories about crimes and investigations, A Walk among the Tombstones has the potential to please. It’s violent, mysterious, intriguing and Liam Neeson’s dark performance is a great reason to watch it but in the end, is it good or not? Well, to answer that I must invite you to read my review.

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It was Matt Scudder’s day off so he decided to have a couple of drinks in a pub where he and most of his colleagues at the police station were well received. While he was drinking, a couple of guys enters the pub and decide to kill the manager without realizing that Matt was there drinking. He starts chasing them and eventually he manages to shoot them but something else happened that day and because of that Matt decided to quit his job and he became a private detective. One day, he is asked by a drug dealer to find the men who kidnapped and murdered his wife, even though he paid for the rescue. The drug dealer offers him an insane amount of money but Matt decides to refuse. Desperate to get help, the drug dealer goes to see him again and decides to tell Matt the brutal way his wife was killed. With a bit of hesitation, Matt ends up accepting the job and after doing some research he finds out that the men he’s looking for have done this several times and that every victim is connected to a drug dealer. After knowing this, Matt decides to give up the case but when the vicious men decide to grab another girl, he will do whatever he can to keep the girl safe from death.

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Matt Scudder has the typical background of a police detective in movies, he was addicted to alcohol as a police officer, he did several bad things while he was there and one day, after doing something really bad, even though it wasn’t on purpose, he decides to quit because he lost himself without knowing what’s good and what’s bad. The prologue of the movie is basically the story of the day he quit and it represents his descent to the dark side. The development of the character is something really interesting to see because after quitting the force, Matt becomes a more apprehensive and dark subject. In the movie he appears to be some sort of dark vigilante who takes advantage of his police knowledge to do his work. His conversations with the kidnappers kind of bring back the Taken ghost and this specific scene is the one of the defying moments in which a man who at first was only doing this for money starts doing this to protect everyone which is a really great transformation. While he is investigating some newspaper articles at the library about women related with dealers who ended up kidnapped and murdered, Matt meets TJ, a really nice kid, abandoned by his mother and who wants to help in his investigation. Their relationship represents friendlier and familiar side of Matt in the movie that contrasts with the dark atmosphere he is constantly carrying. The villains in the movie are really mean guys with vicious and disgusting ideas that involve not only winning money but also mutilating the women they kidnap. The background of the villains was also a really interesting detail and overall the performances were quite good.

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As for the story, I’ve several commentaries to make, most of them related with the development the story has. The prologue is interesting and the relation between drugs, alcohol and the dark side of Matt’s life is a great side-plot for the story. Before the finale there’s a really great action scene that was intense as hell and during most of the time everything is intriguing and mysterious. But in my opinion, the most remarkable scene in the movie is a suicide scene that comes out of nowhere and that works really well since it reflects a clear image of danger and evil in the men Matt’s investigating. However, when everything is working that well for a thriller, I cannot accept the disappointing ending that is incapable of delivering the audience’s expectations. The story has a twisted and dark side which is great but unfortunately the conclusion is kind of predictable and not that intense as I expected. The soundtrack helps a lot in some of the best moments and works for a mysterious story.

The major problem, in my opinion, regarding A Walk among the Tombstones is the fact that the movie loses some impact in the end and it was a bit far from my expectations. It’s an intense ride for sure and it’s twisted and dark side was really good but, when all the pieces are gathered, the mystery vanishes and the story turns into another action flick with some suspense in the middle. The acting is good and the development of the characters is solid but the sensation of fear and danger vanishes close to the finale. If you’re a fan of the genre, the chances you end up enjoying it are quite good but for those looking for a surprising story that is capable to accomplish all expectations there is a chance to leave the theater a bit disappointed. In the end, A Walk among the Tombstones remained in my mind for the development of Matt’s personality and for its strong first act. Strong, intense and violent, this is a movie that is as easy to enjoy as is to dislike but if you want to follow my advice, give it a chance. I enjoyed it for the reasons I’ve already said and even though the finale was not that effective, it was a good ride in the path between good and evil.

★★★

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