‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’ Trailer Offers a Grittier Glimpse at Liam Neeson’s Particular Set of Skills

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Liam Neeson‘s been on a bit of an action-star tear since striking gold with 2008’s Taken, but who can blame him? The guy turns 62 years old in a few days, and if he wants to kick ass and take names a few more times before starring in a Grumpy Old Men remake (with Harrison Ford, obviously) more power to him. Of course, he could stand to be a bit pickier with his choices — for every Taken and Non-Stop we also get a Taken 2 and an Unknown — and it’s on that note that we get our first look at the trailer for his latest film.

A Walk Among the Tombstones just might be the best entry in Neeson’s late career renaissance.

It certainly looks the best anyway, and it’s also based on a source material of genuinely higher quality than the usual script from Luc Besson’s Goofy Action Factory. The film is based on Lawrence Block‘s novel, one of thirteen with the recurring character of Matt Scudder. Neeson plays the ex-cop turned alcoholic private investigator in director Scott Frank‘s film, and the result looks pretty damn fantastic.

Check out the first trailer for A Walk Among the Tombstones below.

Seriously now, how incredible does this look?

Sure, trailers are no guarantee of the final film — and that “Black Hole Sun” cover is a large part of the trailer’s success — but the odds seem pretty good that this movie will deliver. Neeson is capable of more than a fair amount of grit and gravitas when we he wants, and while his other action fare never required it of him this film looks to be loaded with a far darker reality. Scudder’s arc as an ex-cop drowning his guilt in violence and the bottle is already dramatic enough, and adding in these twisted van-riding sickos hints at a malevolence on par with something like 8MM.

Frank has only directed one previous film, but that single feature is the fantastic and sadly under-seen The Lookout starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jeff Daniels. He also wrote both films along with several other recognizable gems including Out of Sight, Get Shorty and Minority Report, so yeah, I’m feeling pretty good about this one.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Block’s most popular character has graced the silver screen. Jeff Bridges played the ex-cop in 1986’s 8 Million Ways to Die based on Block’s fifth Scudder novel. It was director Hal Ashby’s (Harold and Maude, Being There) final film, but it was far from his finest for reasons well beyond the changes it made to Scudder’s character.

A Walk Among the Tombstones opens September 19, 2014.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Rob is the Chief Film Critic of Film School Rejects. He doesn't eat cheese on weekdays.

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