Film

Retribution review – another Liam Neeson action vehicle fresh from the production line

Liam Neeson in Retribution is the latest in a long line of B-movies for the veteran action star

Liam Neeson looks out of a car window

Don’t get up: Liam Neeson in Retribution, is in cinemas and on Sky Cinema from 27 October

If dropping the kids off at school can be stressful at the best of times, things get cranked up to 11 in Retribution, the latest B-movie to roll off the Liam Neeson action vehicle production line. But at least in this one Big Liam’s knees get a break as he is sitting down for the entire thing.

That’s because someone has planted a pressure-sensitive bomb under the seats of his Mercedes SUV; if he or his two kids try and jump out, they will be blown up on the streets of Berlin. 

Who is targeting them? Presumably it must have something to do with dad’s high-flying financial job. But after the stakes have been established, there really isn’t anywhere for the movie to go except drive in circles.

It settles into a rhythm of Neeson barking angrily into his phone then obediently following GPS instructions to the next waypoint.

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The most surprising moment in Retribution comes fairly late on, as a boxed-in Neeson argues with a police negotiator. As they verbally clash, emergency workers swoop in and detach his SUV doors with the balletic grace of an F1 pit crew.

It has nothing to do with the story, but this brief glimmer of visual poetry really stands out in an otherwise pretty rough ride.

Retribution is in cinemas and on Sky Cinema from 27 October. Graeme Virtue is a film and TV critic.

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