Retribution (2023)

When a mysterious caller places a bomb under the seat of his car, Matt Turner embarks on a high-speed chase across the city to complete a series of specific tasks. With his children trapped in the back seat and a bomb that will explode if they get out of the car, the daily commute becomes a game of life or death as Matt follows the instructions of increasingly dangerous strangers in a race against time to save his family. Over the past decade or so, Liam Neeson has churned out mostly generic programmers who have no real reason to exist other than the hope that one of those programmers will become another “Taken,” the 2008 thriller that became a huge hit worldwide and unexpectedly unexpectedly reinvented him as an action hero. I doubt I could name half of them without searching Neeson’s IMDb—then again, I suspect the same goes for him. However, the release of Neil Jordan’s “Marlowe” earlier this year, in which he plays legendary detective Philip Marlowe, suggests that Neeson is just as tired of his current filmography being comparable to Charles Bronson’s in the ’80s and wants to do something different. — even if the results weren’t successful, Neeson was trying to do something that was true to his true talents. With his latest project, “Retribution,” any attempt at showing in “Marlowe” has been ruthlessly snuffed out. It’s a film so devoid of thrills, excitement, or purpose that it seems tailor-made to play in empty multiplexes during the typically dead last weeks of summer. This time, Neeson stars as Matt Turner, a Berlin-based investment banker whose workaholism has driven a wedge between him and his wife Heather (Embeth Davidtz) and kids Zach (Jack Champion) and Emily (Lilly Aspell). Even on the day he finally agrees to take the youngsters to school, he spends half the trip talking over investors who are nervous about orders from his boss (Matthew Modine) not to lose their money. But before she can finally drop off her kids, another call comes in from a mysterious phone left in the car. A disguised voice then tells him about a pressure-controlled bomb under his seat that he accidentally triggered when he sat down and will explode if he tries to get out of the car. With his kids trapped behind and a voice remotely threatening to blow him up if he told anyone about his plight or disobeyed orders (making him watch his co-workers explode to prove they weren’t kidding), Matt was forced to do so. running around doing various tasks while trying to figure out who did this to him and why. Meanwhile, the police (led by Noma Dumezweni), convinced that he was the bomber, follow in hot pursuit

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