A Walk Among the Tombstones review – shamelessly exploitative crime thriller

Not so much taking out the trash as simply recycling it, Liam Neeson downshifts once again into vigilante mode in this head-bangingly dull and shamelessly exploitative crime thriller, set in 1999, and adapted from Lawrence Block’s novel.

Here’s the “I will find you, I will kill you” phone call from Taken; here’s the lonely man with alcohol issues from Non-Stop; and here’s Brian “Astro” Bradley, hot from YouTube and American X Factor, presumably roped in to corner the youth market who will be excluded anyway by the 15-rated violence.

Liam plays Matt Scudder, an unlicensed private detective who used to be a cop until “a bullet took a bad hop” and who now “does favours for people” like finding out who kidnapped and murdered their wives. What few surprises are on offer are all blown in the trailer, heightening the impression that you really have seen all of this before. Indeed, the biggest surprise is the fact that, even after all this time, Neeson still can’t do a decent American accent.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Mark Kermode, Observer film critic, for The Observer on Sunday 21st September 2014 00.05 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010