a walk among the tombstones

From Writer and Director Scott Frank, who brought us such entertaining films as OUT OF SIGHT, MARLY & ME AND THE WOLVERINE –comes the much anticipated new film starring the one, the only, Liam Neeson – A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES.

Retired DEA Agent turned private investigator Matt Scudder (Liam Neeson) has been contacted by Kenny Kristo (Dan Stevens), a drug kingpin who needs Scudder to find the sickos who just kidnapped and murdered his wife Carrie (played by Razane Jamal).

Scudder takes on the job, investigating exactly who could have committed such a heinous crime, and maybe a few more exactly like it, when he starts to uncover quite a few disturbed individuals, including the cemetery groundskeeper James Loogan (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson).  Loogan seems to be the right target to start pursuing, as Scudder comes to find that he may know more about the mysterious bags of human remains that have showed up at the cemetery.  Scudder also seems to have picked up a little tag-along with his investigation, after he asks a young black boy named TJ (Brian “Astro” Bradley) to help him and who apparently needs a father figure in his life.

When Scudder corners Loogan, he starts to disclose what he knows about the two men who enjoy killing and dismembering their victims, as shares that he is only the driver when these things go down.  Shortly after sharing what he knows, including naming one of the lunatics called Ray, Loogan decides to fly like a bird off the roof.  Well there goes that witness….

Ray (David Harbour) and his accomplice Albert (Adam David Thompson) are growing restless as they need more cash, and apparently need to do some more killing, which they thoroughly enjoy!  They decide their next victim to kidnap is another drug kingpin’s daughter named Lucia (Danielle Rose Russell).  As her father knows Kenny and what happened to his wife, he reaches out to him and the investigator that is working for him, in the hopes of saving his beautiful little girl……

Will Scudder be able to find these two unhuman beings before they take their next victim?  When Scudder finds out that his friend from AA named Howie (Eric Nelsen), is Kenny’s brother, what, if anything does he have to do with what’s happening?  And will Scudder be able to save Lucia from certain death, as he changes the game these demons are playing?

I give A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES a B-:  Of course, every casting director who reads a script like this must instantly want to cast the master detective himself, LIAM NEESEN, as it seems these are the types of roles he gets cast in again, and again, and again.  But, I must say that even though it’s as if we have seen this part already portrayed by Neeson, he does a good job as Scudder, managing to not look to old to be playing this type of role yet again. The storyline this time around seems more disturbing too, as the extremely graphic violence was becoming less than enjoyable to view.  But, once you got past that, all of the acting was well rounded and enjoyable to watch, and I think that Brian “Astro” Bailey is going to have a long and illustrious career in acting too, as his small but significant role added the element of innocence that I desperately needed to see to counteract all the other elements of this film.  If action, suspense, drama and graphic violence are what you love to watch – then A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES should be your choice for movie entertainment this weekend.  Go check it out at a theater near you.

Kathy Kaiser