Archives for posts with tag: Liam Neeson

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of posts that highlight repeatedly recycled film topics. I’ll post a link to these within some of my reviews in order to save words and keep from driving myself crazy writing the same thing over and over.

An action movie. The star is not American. The script calls for an American. The star plays the American but makes no effort to sound like an American. Because it’s an action movie. This. my friends, is the Schwarzenegger Problem. I can give you 100 examples of dramas in which British actors nail various American dialects, but action flicks apparently spend too much on pyro and not enough on voice coaches. It’s not just Arnold. Liam Neeson is the worst current perpetrator. It’s an unnecessary distraction. Just fix the script. Give him an immigrant backstory. Why is this so hard?

White people. They screw up everything. That’s pretty much the theme of “The Mission” (1986), except the white people are actually conniving Spanish and Portuguese colonialists and some other white people (Jesuit priests Jeremy Irons and Liam Neeson) are trying to peacefully bring Jesus to the same indigenous South Americans. Then there’s Robert De Niro, who alternates between slave trader and Jesuit, always on the wrong side at the wrong time. Trust me, it’s not as confusing as it seems. Lush scenery, simple but effective storytelling and a healthy dose of Catholic guilt, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Finally, an answer to the question, “What if you’d given a young Quentin Tarantino 10 tons of snow, Liam Neeson and a Liam Neeson-sized budget?” “Cold Pursuit” (2019) is a quentenssential contradiction – a dark comedy in the middle of a blizzard. This bloody adaptation of a Norwegian film starts so tragically (Liam’s defending his family again, this time after the fact), I didn’t realize it was a comedy until much later. It’s as if there were two directors steering this film in opposite directions, yet still almost making it home intact. Certainly one of the most interesting efforts of 2019.