Retribution Movie Review: As the credits rolled, I sat in my seat for an extra five minutes, trying to wrap my head around Retribution. It is not that I am unfamiliar with Liam Neeson’s tough-daddy movies but even his tried and tested formula felt like it didn’t hit the mark. Retribution, set to release on August 25 and distributed by Lionsgate, is based on the Spanish film El desconocido (2015) by Alberto Marini and stars Liam Neeson as a tough father who is also into finances. In the opening 15 minutes, we see him workout, be a strict father who seems to have been unavailable for years and also a great business associate of his best friend Anders (Matthew Modine).
Things seems hunky dory until he gets into his car with his children and gets a strange phone call from an unknown number. Now, here’s where I get Deja Vu (the experience, not the song by Olivia Rodrigo). He learns that his car is rigged and a bomb is placed underneath his seat which has been triggered due to the weight of the three people in the vehicle. The only way to deactivate it is pay up the blackmailer. Doesn’t it sound like Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock’s iconic 1994 film Speed? Yup, the movie’s skeleton is more or less similar. But the factors are a little different.
Instead of building up on those factors to give us different layers, Retribution sticks to giving you a predictable action film. Director Nimród Antal makes an ernest effort to make the film an edge of seat experience with the blasts and the intense scenes with the family. However, it doesn’t go beyond a narrative point.
Retribution is also filled with loopholes and they are disturbing to the narration. By the end of it, you have more questions that answers in hand.
Although a weak script, Liam Neeson gives it his all. He delivers every scene with conviction. He has done it a few times in the past but he tries his best to use whatever is in his hand to give something different. Matthew Modine also comes through with his role but I wonder why he agreed to do the part. The actor has done some brilliant work in the recent years, including Stranger Things, so it had me thinking why would he do this movie.
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The crisp runtime makes the film pace through fast and Flavio Labiano does a good job with the camera.
Bottom line: Retribution makes for a decent one-time watch and that too only for Liam Neeson.
first published: August 24, 2023, 07:25 IST
last updated: August 24, 2023, 07:25 IST