Viewed – 21 May 2012 Blu-ray
With Liam Neeson enjoying a sort of resurgence in popularity following a spate of hit thrillers, pretty much anything starring the Irish-born actor is essential viewing of late. Although at the time this garnered very mixed reviews and seemed to be wrongly marketed as a cheap cash-in to Taken … therefore, I have been quite hesitant to check this one out.
Neeson plays Dr Martin Harris, on route to a summit in Berlin with his beautiful wife Liz (January Jones – Mad Men, X-Men First Class), who is involved in a car accident, and on awakening from a coma four days later, discovers that someone has taken his identity, and not even his wife recognises him. A great set up, that although causing strong deja-vu with this viewer (Frantic, anyone?), immediately grabbed my attention. As expected Liam Neeson is very good as the confused Doctor, handling car chases, fist fights and a compelling situation with ease. Supporting him is a perfectly angelic January Jones and also a street-wise Diane Kruger as the cab driver who comes to Neeson’s aid.
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan) with similar slick production values and European setting to Taken, this may lack the emotional intensity of that movie and much of the ‘cool’ but still offers a gripping 2 hours of entertainment that’s really hard not to enjoy. The ending did sort of screw with my perceptions, leaving me a tad conflicted … and the villains are out of the shady government cookie cutter. Yet if you’re after an above average thriller with intrigue, twists and quality action, if short on surprises … this will do the job nicely.
Verdict: 3.5 /5
Viewed – 08 June 2011 Cinema
I didn’t get around to seeing the most recent X-Men movie, Last Stand, mostly due to poor reviews and a change of director from Brian Singer to Brett Ratner. Yet the other night, I did manage to catch about half an hour of it on TV, and thought it looked pretty decent. This was enough to re-educate me on all things mutant for this latest instalment. Following the story of how Professor X and Magneto first came to know each other, Patrick Stewart is replaced by James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender steps into the shoes of Ian McKellen. Joining them is also a wealth of new mutants, and some familiar faces, including a young Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence instead of Rebecca Romijn). Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughan also offers his considerable directing-chops this time around.