12 Steps Through the Tombstones
Former detective turned private eye, Matt Scudder (Liam Neeson) finds himself in the company of drug dealer Kenny Kristo (Dan Stevens) whose wife was kidnapped and despite him paying the ransom was brutally murdered. With Kristo hiring Scudder to find the men who did this he finds himself being assisted by a street kid who calls himself T.J. (Astro). But what Scudder learns is that not only have the guys behind the murder done the same thing before but are going to do it again having kidnapped the daughter of another drug dealer.
First things first and director Scott Frank has filled "A Walk Among the Tombstones" with a sense of grit with Scudder being a down to earth sort of guy, tough but not nasty, fair but not easily taken in. The whole movie lacks anything really sensational yet at the same time it isn't in the least bit dull. It is extremely well done and has a really nice pace to the movie so you never feel like it is becoming bogged down by anything with instead the story nicely revealing itself till it reaches an expected action finale.
But that is the thing about "A Walk Among the Tombstones", as a whole it all feels expected with a set of familiar characters, familiar developments and whilst their is a suggestion of gruesomeness when it comes to the way the kidnappers kill their victims, slicing them up. it is not that surprising. As such when we learn exactly why Scudder quit the force it may have a bit of a graphic nature it isn't too shocking. And when we get to the big action climax, well different tools but same sense of what is going on.
The one thing I can say about "A Walk Among the Tombstones" is that it showcases Liam Neeson's talents as he delivers this level headed character in Matt Scudder. In fact the writing of Scudder makes him too perfect, to calm, collected and it is thanks to Neeson's ability that you get a sense of his flaws through his weathered appearance. And Neeson works well with young Astro who plays T.J. who not only brings the street kid side of the character to life but also the hidden depths of a kid with surprising knowledge to needing a father figure to guide him.
What this all boils down to is that "A Walk Among the Tombstones" has some nice elements and a decent style but in the end feels like a movie you have encountered many times before with the former cop aiding others whilst haunted by his past.