A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014)
I'm going to get to my main problem with Neeson's latest in his continuing quest to be Charles Bronson for the 2010s (remember when he did films like Nell?) after dealing with this review as if that wasn't a factor.
Scott Frank brings a solid but unspectacular eye in this well crafted detective thriller. No sequence quite stands out after the opening shoot out (which has some nice details like how in his drunken state he drops his gun - which keeps him alive) but generally good performances and a less action orientated bent to proceedings keep things interesting. We have a nice sense of him working the case, knocking on doors and just watching people (best bit is interviewing people over a possible abduction they have seen and getting different, conflicting details) and things build in a fairly lean economical way (though a sub plot involving a boy having sickle-cell anaemia doesn't really go anywhere) though a climax featuring an off screen death you kind of just have to take on faith is a touch weak.
However, all of this is on the back of some pretty annoying, pretty horrid exploitation stuff. A nasty credits sequence is played over the abuse and murder of a woman, in a strangely perverse way - shooting in tight close ups and seeming to dodge at it being a sex scene before revealing she is bound up and tortured.
There is almost exactly no women in this film at all barring the victims, who get no personality, no depth. Ones potential infidelity is even off handly dismissed by a male, claiming responsibility and not even allowing this off screen moment of agency to be. They are trophies and nothing more.
Over and over again, these kind of stories say they have no place for women. It's tiresome