More pap from a fairly uninspired and uninspiring Liam Neeson – but this one lacks the cheap-and-enjoyable thrills you’ll find in some of the actor’s other recent crime thriller/action flicks, such as Taken. It suffers from clichéd dialogue – though admittedly that’s nothing new in this genre – and is further hampered by flat direction, an unnecessarily slow pace and a plethora of stock male characters (including a wise-beyond-his-years kid, who leaves his homeless shelter (and family?) and just starts sleeping on the couch owned by Neeson’s hard-drinking, embittered PI without anyone asking any of the relevant questions).
It’s worth pointing out that around half of the female characters in the film end up as mutilated cadavers – yes, half of them – with one in particular only ever ‘appearing’ as the semi-naked subject of a painting hanging in a drug dealer’s yuppie pad or in the disassembled form of chopped-up body parts. Uh, what else? Well, a couple of livelier fight scenes, shootouts or car chases during the main body of the film wouldn’t have gone amiss, and I’m really not sure what to make of the uncomfortable sequence where Donovan’s song Aquarius plays while a serial killer eyes up his next teenage female victim in slow motion; a misguided tribute to Fincher’s Zodiac, perhaps? Tombstones comes with added Y2K nonsense, and at the end Neeson looks so very tired and empty; I’m glad that he has shown signs of resurgence elsewhere in 2017. (*½)