‘Honest Thief’ assessment: Liam Neeson doesn’t steal much more than your time in his latest thriller

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In “Taken,” its sequels and equally themed fare since — a la “The Commuter” and “Cold Pursuit” — Neeson has carved out a distinct segment as a likable man who’s straightforward to root for and a really, very dangerous concept to cross. That’s primarily the method right here, though the template really proves nearer to one thing like “FX” — the place the protagonist makes use of his specialised abilities to struggle the dangerous guys — than the obvious comparisons to Neeson’s filmography.

Neeson performs Tom Carter, a former Marine who has cleaned out sufficient banks to earn the nickname the In and Out Bandit, and he is launched plying his commerce. When he meets Annie (Kate Walsh), he decides to cool down and are available clear, contacting the FBI and providing them a deal: A lightweight sentence, close to the place she will go to him, in trade for returning the stolen loot.

Still, an prolonged plea deal would not precisely meet the customary motion necessities, so Carter is fairly shortly double-crossed by corrupt brokers, forcing him to go on the run and defend himself. In pursuit are FBI brokers harboring completely different aims, essentially the most outstanding being Agent Meyers (Jeffrey Donovan), who spends his spare time cooing at his canine, and a pair of youthful brokers (Jai Courtney, Anthony Ramos) underneath his supervision.

Mostly, it is an excuse for Neeson to say issues like “I’m comin’ for you” as solely he can, and finally marshal his thieving/safecracking abilities towards these pursuing him. Unfortunately, each he and maybe particularly Walsh are saddled with quite a lot of dangerous dialogue (the movie was written and directed by Mark Williams), in the latter case punctuated by her comprehensible shock that the brand new man in her life is abruptly a fugitive.

Neeson has joked in current years about getting a bit lengthy in the tooth to be working round in these type of motion pictures, however he stays a lot convincing in promoting such a premise, even when it is one this conspicuously slim. (As a footnote, Ramos’ spouse in the film is performed by “Hamilton” co-star and real-life fiancée Jasmine Cephas Jones.)

To be honest, “Honest Thief” is trustworthy about its intentions, offering a check-your-brain-at-the-door escape. Of course, the choice to enter the door to a theater in order to see one thing this marginal might be one other matter.

“Honest Thief” premieres in theaters on Oct. 16. It’s rated PG-13.

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