Starring: Liam Neeson, Kate Walsh, Jai Courtney
Director: Mark Williams
Running Time: 99 mins
Honest Thief is an American film about a former bank robber who decides to turn himself in to the FBI, but encounters a pair of corrupt investigators who turn his life into hell.
No matter how much the world may change, you can always rest assured that Liam Neeson and his particular set of skills are fighting injustice. And that’s okay. Although a little simple and far from original, Honest Thief is a pleasingly familiar thriller that’s full of action, good performances and even a surprising amount of heart.
All these Liam Neeson movies might look identical on the surface, but there’s a surprising amount of variety in quality among them. Some are rubbish, like Cold Pursuit, while others are amazing, like Taken. Honest Thief lies somewhere in the middle, lacking the exhilarating intensity of Taken, but still with a well-told story and fun action all the way through.
So, if you’re a fan of these movies, then you’ll definitely like Honest Thief. It might take a little longer than usual to get into its main action, but its screenplay has a surprising depth that makes it an engaging watch from start to finish.
Neeson plays a repentant bank robber who tries to start afresh by turning himself in, and from there you root for him immediately. Couple that with a genuinely heartfelt romance between Neeson and Kate Walsh, and Honest Thief is a lot more emotionally engaging than you’d expect.
You don’t go into a Liam Neeson action movie looking for sweet romance, but Honest Thief does it well, and brings it into play effectively with the central action story. Then, when corrupt FBI officials Jai Courtney and Anthony Ramos arrive on the scene, Neeson becomes an even greater hero.
After a slower opening act, the film kicks the action up a gear and keeps it there right to the finish. Honest Thief isn’t just a run-of-the-mill cat-and-mouse chase, because you have that extra layer of intrigue where the bank robber, Neeson, is the good guy and the cops are the villains.
As far as some of the story’s main twists go, it’s fair to say that Honest Thief is a fairly simplistic and occasionally unconvincing thriller, but its action is so strong throughout that it doesn’t matter. The movie knows it’s telling a well-trodden story, but there’s enough energy and fun-loving action to make it a thoroughly enjoyable watch, and its familiarity even works as a strength.
So, if you like an action-packed Liam Neeson movie, then you’ll like Honest Thief. You’ve pretty much seen this before, but with good performances, great action and surprisingly heartfelt romance, it’s an enjoyably familiar watch from start to finish, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.4 overall.