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<< Entertainment >>

New Movie Review

Creepy Cool: "A Walk Among The Tombstones"

Crime, Drama, Mystery. Rated R. 113 minutes.

Photo by Atsushi Nishijima - © 2014 - Universal Pictures

Still of Liam Neeson and Astro in A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014)

 

by Mike Wrathell
mwrathell@yahoo.com

 

 

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I love action movies. I love a good cop movie. They're therapeutic. My dad was a cop. A Detroit cop no less. Not some cop in the suburbs who could perch at the local doughnut shop for half his shift. Not some pencil-pushing, brown-nosing sycophant who got a promotion every six months, and took the mayor's suits to the dry cleaners every Thursday. He finally made it to sergeant after 15 years on the job.

He had a street name. Ratman. He was a real cop. He was there for the riots in '67, even.

Liam Neeson plays a real cop named Matt Scudder, a retired NYPD detective, in “A Walk Among The Tombstones” to a tee. He kills when it's time to kill. Just like in The Bible. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

When it's a time to heal, he visits his associate, T. J., in the hospital. When it's time to go to A. A., he does that, too. My dad never did that. He liked his Bud, but after open heart surgery, he didn't drink so much. Hardly at all.

Matt Scudder is a smart, unlicensed private investigator who enters the world of drug traffickers to unearth the mystery of missing wives who end up dead in grisly and sordid fashion.

Scudder is strangely up for the job. Just as surprisingly up for it is T. J., played by Astro, who is a teenage kid who lives in a homeless shelter. They are an odd pair at first blush – not exactly Holmes and Watson; but T. J. is always eager to prove his worth to Scudder – and does so magnificently every time.

Finally, Scudder has to confront the evil alone, though; that's how it always is in a good cop flick. We are each of us ultimately alone in an existential sense. We all go alone to the next destination when we die. Someday, I'll meet my dad there.

Matt Scudder must fight the evil and save the innocent on his own – facing death head-on with all his inner resources, all his strength, all his wits, all the luck he's saved up from rabbit's feet and lucky pennies found face up. And he does it does it like a real man.

That's all you can ask for in a man. Matt Scudder was a good, jaded cop with a drinking problem who become a good, jaded private eye who quit drinking. Amazingly, the prodigious Lawrence Block has written 18 crime novels starring Scudder. “8 Million Ways to Die” was turned into a movie with Jeff Bridges in 1982. I hope they make another one of them into a movie with Liam and Astro in it.

Go see it. It's good. I could say more, but I don't want to give anything away. It's powerful stuff. Trust me.

 


Watch the official movie trailer:

 

 

Movie poster credit: Universal Pictures

"A Walk Among The Tombstones" movie poster

 

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