Jacob Richardson | 19/10/2020
Liam Neeson sleepwalks through this unsurprising actioner.
Tom (Liam Neeson) is a notorious bank robber known as the In and Out Thief, but when he wants to go straight and lead an honest life with his partner Annie (Kate Walsh), he is double crossed by the FBI agents assigned to his case. Agent Nivens (Jai Courtney) and Agent Hall (Anthony Ramos) try and crush Tom and take his illicit funds for themselves, but come up against both fellow Agent Meyers (Jeffrey Donovan) and Tom’s ingenuity.
Honest Thief is an almost aggressively standard movie. So let’s start with the pro’s. Visually, a lot of the cinematography in this movie feels very professional and strong, giving it a sheen of professionalism that helps smooth some of the jagged edges from the performances and script. On top of that, Donovan and Courtney do pretty good jobs with some weak material.
Then there are the cons. The plot is absolutely as bland and staid as possible, and you can pick it right from the off. There isn’t a single twist or turn that will shock you here. Coupled with that is the dialogue, which is cheesy to the max. With a little bit of pizazz, this could be a fun send up, but that is where we run into the biggest problem of the piece; the performance from Liam Neeson.
Neeson famously proclaimed a movie in 2019 his last action film, but here he revisits the genre, and his tiredness with it is on full display. He mumbles, fumbles and sleepwalks his way through this material. Now sure, Neeson is a natural with this sort of content, so even sleepwalking there is a certain thrill to his work. But this material needs and enthusiastic touch, and Neeson seems like he mandated a one take rule, because everything he does feels like he doesn’t want to be there.
In the end, this is a pretty standard movie with little enthusiasm from the creatives behind it. It is easy to watch, but ultimately unsatisfying.
Honestly? A disappointment.