Wanting to lead an honest life, a notorious bank robber turns himself in, only to be double-crossed by two ruthless FBI agents.
Liam Neeson falls right back into the tough guy role as Tom in “Honest Thief” however there’s a different tone in this film as the supporting cast of characters get a chance to talk and have a bit of character development. In fact, the opening scene is incredibly engaging as Tom meets Annie (Kate Walsh) at a storage facility. Their chemistry and banter is adorable giving me false hopes that this might be a film that’s more than a cat-and-mouse chase game with explosions and car stunts.
Neeson’s Tom is a bank robber gone straight thanks to his new-found love Annie who is blissfully unaware of his former profession. Attempting to turn himself in to alleviate his guilt and move forward with Annie in honesty, Tom finds himself connected with a couple of crooked cops–Agent Nivens (Jai Courtney) and Agent Hall (Anthony Hall) who attempt to frame Tom for murder. Trying to clear his name, he becomes ensnared in Nivens’ and Hall’s predicament and the chips begin to fall as do the bullets.
Quickly, this story plunges into the tried and true, or should I say tired and used, chase game. However, the physical stunts and chase scenes hold your attention even though you’ve seen this scenario a thousand times. While Neeson dialed in his dialogue and performance in these situations, the real interest was his interactions with Walsh which drove his character’s motivation. Courtney gives us a one-dimensional performance, but Hall attempts to provide some depth with his character which does prove to be more interesting. It is Walsh’s natural performance, however, that is refreshing in this type of film, creating a character with whom you are invested and understand. A bit more dialogue and a few less preposterous fight and chase scenes would have elevated the film and maybe even challenged Neeson to break out of his stereotypical box. 2 Stars
A bit better than the standard Neeson actioner as the film takes the actor’s age into consideration regarding the derring-do he’s required to execute. The script by Steve Allrich and director Mark Williams is hits all the expected notes and is not without humor which helps make the standard action scenes that are part-and-parcel of these genre features a bit more palpable. Good work from Kate Walsh as the requisite damsel in distress and Jeffrey Donovan as the cop in pursuit of our hero are welcome as does the economic running time. 2 ½ Stars.