Based on Lawrence Block’s novel of the same name, A Walk Among the Tombstones is a hard hitting American crime thriller that shows us exactly how evil, and utterly horrible, some men can be. Sir Liam John Neeson (Schindler’s List, Star Wars 1: The Phantom Menace, A Million Ways to Die in the West) stars in yet another role where he gets to kill people, or beat them senseless.
Matthew Scudder (Neeson), a New York cop, is off-duty drinking at his regular bar (where cops drink for free!) when thieves rob the place at gun point. Scudder takes chase and guns down all perps, Dirty Harry style. Returning to the bar to continue getting wasted, he learns of the death of a seven-year-old girl, killed by one of his own stray bullets. The shock of the accident resulting from his irresponsible actions causes Scudder to quit the force, and the alcohol.
Fast forward eight years to 1999. Scudder is approached by a man seeking his private investigator services to locate those responsible for the death of his sister-in-law. After learning the details of her kidnapping and gruesome murder, he reluctantly accepts the job.
As Scudder gets closer to discovering the identity of the murderous kidnappers, they strike again taking the daughter of an acquaintance of Scudder’s employer. Next follows a series of hard talking and subtle chest puffing from Neeson as he attempts to save the girl’s life and catch the psychopathic killers.
This story has been written and played out on our movie screens a thousand times over and is as predictable as they come. However, it does have an aura of darkness that makes it intriguing, in a similar way that ‘A History of Violence’ did.
Known for his screenwriting talents, A Walk Among the Tombstones is Scott Frank’s (screenwriter of The Wolverine, Flight of the Pheonix and Minority Report) second time behind the camera after his directorial debut attempt ‘The Lookout’, was a huge flop at the box office. A Walk Among the Tombstones was a huge improvement, but this may be due casting Neeson as he has a habit of starring in successful movies.
The Movie Lad rates this: Two and a half drunk cops out of a possible five.