In a word: Engrossing
Liam Neeson is one of those actors who cannot make a bad movie. Much like DiNiro, Cruise and so many more, he always gives it 100 percent, while making his tough-guy characters as believable as possible. “Honest Thief” is a good movie, but not a great movie, mainly because of too many implausibles.
Based in a major city in America, Neeson plays a middle-aged widower raising a boy and, for the last several years, worked at becoming a top-flight bank robber because he had been a munitions expert in the military and knew the mechanics of entering a safe undetected. Over the years, he amassed some 9 million dollars, but never spent any of it (Implausible #1) but rather, he stored the cash in boxes inside a rental storage facility.
Alas, Neeson’s character meets the woman of his dreams and decides he will give up crime and confess to her, and to the FBI, his crimes, and return the money in the hope of earning a short sentence. (Implausible #2) Sounds good enough, but the mission becomes more dangerous when the FBI agents are more personally interested in his piles of cash. Everything goes wrong, even the confession, as he and his lady friend are faced with separate lives for many years.
As usual, a number of fight scenes consist of the inevitable overdose of martial arts, compliments of the good-and-bad guys, as well as a few shoot-outs. (Implausible #3).
The new romance for Neeson is played by Kate Walsh, a very good actress. I can’t say the same for some in the supporting cast, especially those who played the crooked FBI agents. It just didn’t work for me and, I would imagine, the FBI as well.
I can opine that Neeson is truly a gifted actor, who will likely be confined to more shoot-‘em-ups and too many scenes of martial arts combat, rather than deep, moving roles like he did in Schindler’s List. Regardless, the film was entertaining, but not worthy of any Oscar nominations.
I’d give this movie a 7 out of 10.