A Walk Among The Tombstones: The BRWC Review

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Seeming inspired to bring back the gritty late 20th century redemption thriller by the unnervingly powerful personal of Liam Neeson; Scott Frank’s A Walk among the Tombstones is a gripping tale of vengeance, redemption and old school justice.

Set in 1999, former cop and alcoholic Matt Scudder (Liam Neeson) is working as an unlicensed detective when he is hired by drug trafficker Danny Ortiz (Maurice Compte) to solve the murder of his wife. Initially unwilling to take the case; Scudder is swayed by the pure brutality of the murder, soon unravelling a series of masochistic killings targeting the families of former DEA targets.

Presented with a series of progressive flashbacks, A Walk among the Tombstones is as much about the motivation of Neeson’s character as it is about solving the murders. Whilst you would expect this to be primarily about redemption; it cleverly avoids this obvious turn and focuses more on doing the right thing than the usual attempts to right wrongs of the past. This subtle change gives this film a different feel to most crime thrillers with Frank’s touch of moody noir found in lurking within most of the films transitions. This is never more obvious than the opening credits which are snippets of snuff film made by the films killer documenting the brutal torture of one of the films earliest victims, announcing almost immediately the strange touches this film has. My immediate thoughts on seeing the cast were whether this was simply Taken 4; but it’s very soon made clear that whilst similarities exist, A Walk among the Tombstones is much like Taken, but without the filters. Instead we’re given a Liam Neeson character that, although incredibly capable, is much less sure of convictions.

Nonetheless, it still doesn’t quite break the mould of the typical crime thriller, occupying instead a middle ground between quirky and standard that whilst elevating it somewhat unfortunately cause it to falter as it neither pleases the fans of true noir nor does it quite have the nonsensical action Neeson has become known for.

A sign of a good film adaption is that it makes you want to buy the book.

Let’s just say I’ve ordered my copy.

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Films, games, Godzilla and Scott Pilgrim; these are the things that Alex loves. As he tries to make use of the fact he’s always staring at a screen or in a book, you’ll hopefully be treated to some good reviews along the way (though he doesn’t promise anything).



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