Feldman @ the flicks

Honest Thief

Honest Thief

Peter Feldman: Liam Neeson returns to a genre for which he is best loved in Honest Thief. This is where he shows his true mettle once again in the action/revenge stakes.

Honest Thief
Cast: Liam Neeson, Jai Courtney, Kate Walsh Robert Patrick
Director: Mark Williams
Classification: 13LV

Liam Neeson returns to a genre for which he is best loved. This is where he shows his true mettle once again in the action/revenge stakes.

In Honest Thief his character, Tom Carter, is a professional bank robber who over the years has amassed a huge fortune, something like $9-million. His speciality is cracking safes and he is very good at his job. He works alone and stays just under the radar of the law. He is a former Marine and an expert in explosives and knows just how to blow up things.

Then he meets a woman, Annie, (Kate Walsh of Grey’s Anatomy fame), falls madly in love and decides he needs to tell her the truth about his past life. He decides to turn himself in to the authorities and wants to live an honest life. He wants to cut a deal by returning the stolen money.

It’s not that easy, as Tom discovers, because the Federal agents he is dealing with, played with relentless energy by Australian actor Jai Courtney and Anthony Ramos, are far more corrupt than he is. As the tense narrative unfolds, and the men steal his money and try to frame him for a murder, the plot navigates familiar Neeson territory. It’s revenge time as Tom intends getting his life back, protecting the woman he loves, and exacting revenge from the two rogue agents.

A chase story of this nature is, understandably, not entirely free from clichés and shortcomings, but director Mark Williams expertly papers over this with an engrossing, well-orchestrated story thrust that embraces car chases and shoot-outs and other well-worn devices utilised in keeping the revs up.

The key to the production is, of course, Liam Neeson and his charismatic screen persona. When he is on the hunt there is no doubt in your mind he will succeed.

Kate Walsh has far less screen time but is a commanding entity, while the baddies manage to hold their own in the action sequences.

Honest Thief, which is an oxymoron, provides a wonderfully entertaining diversion at this time amidst Covid-19 and the American elections.

Twitter: @petersdfeldman_

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Peter Feldman has been a journalist and arts critic for almost 50 years and served on The Star in various capacities for 35 years, ending up as a specialist writer on films, music and theatre. During that time, he travelled extensively on assignments and interviewed many international film and pop stars, both in South Africa and overseas. He also covered some of South Africa’s biggest film and musical events. He was one of only two South African journalists to be invited by Steven Spielberg to the Hook film junket in LA in 1991 where he interviewed the famous director as well as Dustin Hoffman and the late Robin Williams. He attended the gala James Bond premiere in London in 1981 and did an iconic interview in a Rolls Royce with Roger Moore who played Bond. He spent a week touring England with Queen prior to their Sun City visit in 1983, interviewed a host of international stars on films sets in Hollywood and London and was the first local journalist to nail an interview with The Rolling Stones prior to their SA visit in 1995. He is active in the freelance field and his work has appeared in a variety of South African newspapers and magazines, including Artslink.co.za. He has also worked on TV and radio (ChaiFM 101.9) in his specialist capacity. Over the years Feldman has been the recipient of several awards for his contribution to music journalism and the SA record industry. He is a recent recipient of the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz award in recognition for his long-standing journalistic support for the arts. He wrote lyrics for some top artists, including Sipho Mabuse, and had a hit disco single, “Video Games,” which was released in 1988. He coined the phrase “Local is Lekker”.