Saturday 23 March 2024

Movie Review: Retribution (2023)

Genre: Thriller  
Director: Nimr√≥d Antal  
Starring: Liam Neeson, Matthew Modine, Embeth Davidtz  
Running Time: 90 minutes  

Synopsis: In Berlin, hedge fund manager Matt Turner (Liam Neeson) is distracted by work and ignoring his wife Heather (Embeth Davidtz). While driving his two kids to school, a mysterious caller informs him there is a bomb under his seat. With other car bombs targeting associates of his business partner Anders Muller (Matthew Modine), Matt needs to keep driving and follow instructions to stay alive, while Europol agent Angela Brickmann (Noma Dumezweni) leads the police response.

What Works Well: This mash-up of Speed and Phone Booth benefits from picturesque Berlin locations, rational action scene editing, and Liam Neeson wringing every bit of regret from a preoccupied father and husband suddenly facing mortality. The Mercedes SUV where most of the movie takes places competes with Neeson for the central starring role.

What Does Not Work As Well: None of the plot details make any sense or survive scrutiny, starting with a villain who opts for the most convoluted body-littered path to riches. The laws of physics apply only intermittently, police chases and interventions are irrational, and key characters often side-step the most obvious action in favour of script requirements.

Conclusion: Displays some vigour, but mostly drives in all the wrong directions.

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