Director: Mark Williams
Producers: Mark Williams, Myles Nestel, Tai Duncan, Craig Chapman
Genre: Action Thriller
Release Date: 16th October, 2020
Released In: Theatres
Star Cast: Liam Neeson, Kate Walsh, Robert Patrick, Anthony Ramos, Jeffrey Donovan, Jai Courtney, Jasmine Cephas Jones
They call him the ‘In-and-Out Bandit’ because meticulous thief Tom Carter has stolen $9 million from small-town banks, while managing to keep his identity a secret. But after he falls in love with the bubbly Annie, Tom decides to make a fresh start by coming clean about his criminal past, only to be double-crossed by two ruthless FBI agents.
The film depicts the story of a seasoned criminal seeking an out from his past or a way to redeem it for a better life.
The concept is not very new, but the way co-writers Mark Williams and Steve Allrich have written the characters and their world, it becomes instantly interesting, charming and likable personalities. The motives behind the character ‘Tom’ and his past feel grounded. It allows audiences to maintain the connection they have made with their antihero protagonist character type.
In addition to the nicely-written characters, one of the film’s real strong points that helps it stand out amongst the genre of action-thrillers is the dark sense of humour. Whether it is Jeffrey Donovan’s dog-carrying FBI agent, Robert Patrick’s quick-witted Agent Baker, Neeson’s bluntly honest Tom or Kate Walsh’s easy-to-connect-to Annie, the speed of the film always maintains equilibrium and that can be credited to the action of the film as well as the mutual performances of the entire cast, especially the 52-year-old Burn Notice alum.
The love story between Tom and Annie is the heart of the film and is relatively sweet to watch, but the bond that develops between Donovan’s Agent Meyers and his reluctantly-owned small dog Tazzie brings out some of the best jokes in the film.
Much like the story of the film, the action itself is impressive execution, with plenty of goosebumps raising sequences. From the CGI fire to a few hand-to-hand sequences cutting a little too frequently to hide the use of a stunt double or two, the sequences themselves are thoroughly enjoyable.
One of the real shining lights of the film, to no one’s surprise, is the delightfully wicked performance from Jai Courtney as the villainous corrupt Agent Nivens. Time and time again, the Australian performer has delivered charming performances in every role from the antihero villain Captain Boomerang in Suicide Squad to a less-prepared Kyle Reese in Terminator: Genisys, and from the moment he is introduced on screen, he chews up every bit of scenery he can with his performance. He walks a fine line between what wrong he is doing while also trying to convince reluctant partner Agent Hall (a warm Anthony Ramos) and the audience.
Neeson's charisma and charm on screen is always delightful to watch, even when the film feels like long stretches of time. At the heart of the film lies redemption, with Neeson looking to right his wrongs as an ex-bank robber, though not entirely but primarily Neeson makes the film remarkable and noteworthy.