Matt Scudder is a former cop now a private eye. He is asked by a drug dealer to find the men who kidnapped his wife. It seems like they killed her even after he paid them. Scudder refuses. But the man later goes to see him and tells him how his wife was killed. Scudder takes the job. He does some research and thinks the men he is looking for have done this more than once. And that everyone they grabbed is connected to a drug dealer. He was about to give up when they grab another girl and Scudder tries make sure she's returned alive.Written by
Although is the second time a Lawrence Block novel about Matthew Scudder is turned into a movie, this is the first one set in New York. It is often considered the city is a character itself in every book written by Block. See more »
(at around 56 mins) While set in 1999, when Scudder clears moisture off a windows in the old house you can see a modern time (built after 2010) white car parked below the train bridge. See more »
You need some help, man.
I don't care. You want to mess up your own shit - but you're going to mess up mine, too. I need to know you got my back. Not that you're going to come falling through the door behind me...
Don't worry your pretty little spic head off.
Anyway. That was all I wanted to say.
Is that it? Fuck you!
[gets out of the car]
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UK theatrical version was cut by the distributor to secure a "15" rating (a scene of sexual threat (including an aggressive use of the word 'cunt')). This version was also released on DVD/Blu-ray. See more »
Greetings again from the darkness. Welcome to the annual off-season gift from Liam Neeson. Seemingly every year, he provides us with a February or September release that requires his particular set of tough guy skills. This time, he plays Matthew Scudder - of the popular Lawrence Block crime novel series (17 books).
Director Scott Frank (The Lookout) works to create a 1970's feel, although the film opens up as a flashback to 1991, and quickly fast forwards to 1999 NYC. There are no shortage of clichés here, but nothing is over the top; and the bleak, somber, usually rainy setting establishes the tone that fits with "unlicensed" private detective Scudder's preferred method of living and detecting.
Of course, Scudder is a recovering alcoholic and former cop, with a tragic, careless incident on his record and conscience. The film is so ever-bleak, that the moments of humor ... though often awkward and out of place ... are quite welcome. The only shining light of innocence comes courtesy of a sharp homeless kid named TJ, played by Brian "Astro" Bradley. TJ is a Philip Marlowe wannabe, and quickly assumes the role of Scudder's partner/intern/IT Department.
Bad guys are everywhere. Even the serial killers (David Harbour, Adam David Thompson) target the family members of criminals, so as to minimize the involvement of the proper authorities. As an improper authority, we can't ask for better than Liam Neeson. He works for "favors", not a paycheck.
Other support work comes courtesy of Dan Stephens ("Downton Abbey"), Boyd Holbrook, and creepy cemetery groundskeeper (is there another type?) Olafur Darri Olafsson, who creates yet another memorable character with limited screen time (see "True Detective").
Mr. Neeson gets plenty of telephone action, which plays right into the strength of Taken, and it's pretty amazing how much WALKING he does throughout the story. He looks great walking in his duster, but it seems a bicycle would be more efficient ... though admittedly, much less daunting. As a whole, though the movie is probably a bit familiar, it's the little details and the powerful Liam Neeson that makes it a welcome late summer release.
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