Director: Mark Williams
Writers: Steve Allrich, Mark Williams
Stars: Liam Neeson, Kate Walsh, Jai Courtney
“Honest Thief,” co-written and directed by Mark Williams, is a predictable film, with no real thrill factor, relying on music to define the suspense, and dark sets and smoke to create the tension. The story is effective enough to pass as a crime thriller, but it doesn’t have enough to separate Neeson from his previous roles of Taken 2, Unknown and The Commuter.
Neeson stars as Tom, the honest thief, but also known as the In-and-Out Bandit. His character is a decent, highly competent, non-violent thief with a heart of gold. He has robbed 12 banks in seven states, over eight years, amassing $9 million in cash. Tom decides to go straight for the love of a woman called Annie (played by Kate Walsh), and that’s when the trouble starts. Annie is a receptionist at a self-storage company, who is just a few credits shy of a psychology degree.
Tom and Annie are trying to live a normal life, but Tom’s good intentions fall apart when a pair of corrupt FBI agents, Nivens (played by Jai Courtney) and Hall (played by Anthony Ramos), decide to take his stolen money and frame Tom for murder. That means Tom must make use of whatever weapons he has at his disposal – fists, guns, explosives, – to get the truth out.
When they try to frame our honest thief, he becomes that one-man wrecking crew we so love Neeson for in the “Taken” films, but this time around I don’t feel there’s as much high octane action of energy. Instead he seems a lot slower and a lot less skilled as a fighter. The plot runs out by the hour mark, and from there it’s basically just chase sequences until the end.
To be honest as with all Neeson films, prior to walking into this screening I figured we were going to get another “Taken”. Unfortunately though Steve Allrich and Mark Williams deliver a thrilless version in “Honest Thief”.