The line of dialogue is whispered during a couple of key sequences in Third Person, the new film from Paul Haggis, the Academy Award-winning director of Crash
(Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay). As you might imagine, the
phrase insinuates itself dramatically into the hearts of the characters
who hear it, as they attempt to heed the call.
charts the collision course between former CIA operative Bryan Mills
(Liam Neeson) and Murad Krasniqi (Rade Serbedzjia). Krasniqi wants
revenge; Mills killed his son, but to be fair, he did so because
Krasniqi’s son had kidnapped Mills’ daughter.
How Liam Neeson went from being that rare thespian animal of a leading-man character actor to a full-on action star while still keeping his artistic integrity is a mystery. His latest big-screen project is a fish-out-of-water mystery thriller. It's not an especially memorable film, which is ironic considering the analogous subject matter of its over-leveraged premise. Grade: B-.
For the third 'Narnia' franchise installment, veteran director Michael Apted takes over helming duties performed by Andrew Adamson on the first two films. Sadly Apted, the filmmaker famous for the hugely influential '7Up' documentary series, is confined by a script that is a mere sketch of C.S. Lewis' original novel. The result is a disposable children's adventure story that wears its well-worn primary narrative device like an afterthought. Grade: C.
Writer-director Paul Haggis goes the more conventional action-thriller route here as Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks play a married middle-class couple pursuing fugitive route after the wife is sentenced to a long prison term for the murder of her boss. Crowe is game, but Banks gets played by chess-master Haggis who is simply trying to keep too many pieces moving at once. Grade: D.
Joe Carnahan ('Narc' and 'Smokin' Aces') brings his usual explosive energy to this big-screen adaptation of the hit television series. The story, or the shorthand outline that's in place, matters very little. The movie is all about comic-book-style propulsion: being faster than a speeding explosive bullet and barreling over tall buildings in a tank dropped from a plane. Grade: D-plus.
You couldn't hope for a higher caliber sexploitation movie than Chloe, even if the sex thriller falls flatter than a day-old quiche. Atom Egoyan rekindles his lurking soft-core desires with a tawdry script by Eric Cressida Wilson, whose 2002 film 'Secretary' transcended a cultural movement of sexual identity. Audiences will have no such luck with this formulaic suspense picture about sexual deception. Grade: C-plus.
The ever-capable Liam Neeson takes a well-earned payday as a retired CIA agent whose 17-year-old daughter is kidnapped by Albanian sex traffickers. Ham-fisted screenwriting over-establishes his desperation at winning his daughter's affection before he gets to use his specialized set of spy skills that will impose a hearty body count on his rescue and revenge quest around Paris. Grade C.