A Walk Among the Tombstones; sometimes called Taken 2.5; I thought was going to be another Liam Neeson action flick, where someone is kidnapped and he hunts them down, killing people left right and centre on his way to rescue and vengeance. What it really was, was a decently scripted crime/suspense thriller starring Liam Neeson as a damaged, former alcoholic, ex-cop who now works as an unlicensed private investigator named Matt Scudder. Scudder gets hired by the drug trafficker brother of one of his AA friends to help find who kidnapped and killed his wife. After a little digging, Scudder finds a pattern where other women (all who have husbands or boyfriends with links to the drug trade) have been kidnapped under similar circumstances before being raped, killed and cut up for disposal. Now determined to solve the case and prevent any more deaths, Scudder races against time to save the daughter of a Russian drug trafficker, who has now also been taken.
This was not an action movie, it was a drama. There of course were a few fight scenes and a few chases, but it relied heavily on suspense and the characters to tell the story. The Scudder character is a creation of writer Lawrence Block who has been writing him since 1976 in a series of novels and collections of short stories. Tombstones is the tenth book in the series, but the first to get a film adaptation. I wonder about the timing of this movie. As I recall, it was released to theatres just around the time that Taken 3 production was announced. I suppose it generated interest, but it also confused a lot of people I think, who expected it to be Taken 3. A bonus was that Neeson’s acting in A Walk Among the Tombstones is probably a degree or two higher than it is in the Taken franchise which relies more on action and ass-kicking. A good story overall.
Bottom Line: I enjoyed the film, as it was both gritty and satisfyingly redeeming enough to quench my movie thirst, but didn’t really do anything to make me want to read the books at this point.