So, I know you’re asking yourself: Why the hell would he watch this after seeing Non-Stop so recently? Answer: Cause I forgot it was in my queue.
The delightful, over-the-top carnage of the first (including a body-count meter on the disc) gave way to the absurdity of the second in this series. My hopes for the final installment were very low. In truth, it isn’t as bad as I feared, other than the atrociously written police procedure aspects. No hand-wavy goodness from Whitaker (Out of the Furnace) could fix those aspects. In quality and value it is somewhere between the first and second.
The tie-up of the Mills family saga is clever, if not entirely credible. The action is fun and, honestly, a little more believable than the previous two installments for me. Moving the action to the US gave it a new feeling, but also caused it to feel less possible. Regardless of any of the good Neeson’s character commits, his efforts would have landed him in jail for the rest of his life. OK, so it is a fantasy, not just purely an action flick; I can squint through that, but it doesn’t make it a good film. As a complete aside, seeing Janssen (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Scott (Doctor Who) working together in this after the release of Hemlock Grove was both amusing and jarring all at once.
If you are hankering to see the end of the cycle and can just go with the absurdity of the choices and consequences, it isn’t a bad way to spend some time. If you’re looking for more of the gritty harshness of the first in the series or simply a rollicking, but realistic, actioner, you probably should look elsewhere. Here’s hoping that Neeson can find a new character type to give us. He’s a capable actor, loaded with charisma. I think he’s run the length of the action-hero track that he’s capable of, or that I’m willing to see, at the very least.