Note: I saw this film in a theater and it is so good to be back.
Michael's Movie Grade: B-
A typically enjoyable, if overly familiar Liam Neeson vehicle.
Despite this movie dealing with illegal immigration and border patrol, any political or social commentary takes a backseat to a typical Liam Neeson storyline. This movie takes every step you can except from a Liam Neilson action movie without missing a beat. This means that if you are familiar with these movies you know most of the plot before it happens. This also means that if you like these movies you will enjoy this one and if you don't like these movies you won't. Luckily for me I always find myself enjoying these films. Liam Neeson has of course completely mastered playing the kind of character he does here and few can do it as well as he does. As always his performance lends a sense of humanity and emotion to this movie, while still completely deliver the tough action scenes we all want. The action scenes themselves are typically great and it is hard to think that any fans of these movies could absolutely love the ones here. Director Robert Lorenz knows just how to make these scenes as exciting as possible. They are over the top enough to be fun yet never too over the top to distract from the story or become comical. While we may not thinking of movies like this being feats of filmmaking, there is no doubt that it requires a lot of skill and know-how to walk this tightrope and not fall off. The relationship between Neeson's character and the young boy he helps (Jacob Perez) is surprisingly sweet and well handled. While it like the rest of the movie is told through cliché plot points, there is a real heart behind this part of the story and it makes the audience gain an emotional connection that lasts through even the most cliché of moments.
Simply put if you like this movies, you will like this one and if you don't then this isn't going to change your mind.