April 21, 2024

Retribution 2023 Movie Review

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Retribution 2023 Movie Review

Liam Neeson stars in the upcoming action movie Retribution, and news around his latest thriller is setting up a movie that could be on-par with some of the actor’s classics like Taken. Retribution is a remake of the 2015 Spanish- and French-language film El Desconocido, which is about a man whose family is put in danger when his former client returns seeking revenge. The movie takes a lot from Speed with its focus on someone remaining in a vehicle that can’t be exited, but it weaves in themes of greed and the idea of putting business above family that make the line between the good and bad guys a little blurrier.

Retribution joins the very long list of Liam Neeson movies, many of which have been highly acclaimed. In addition to an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for playing the title character in Schindler’s List, Neeson has received three Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor and two Tony Award nominations for Best Actor for his work as a lead performer. The later part of Neeson’s career has seen the actor pivot hard into popular action films, and he has become one of the premier stars of the genre with such hits as Taken, The Grey, and The Ice Road. Retribution seems to be in that wheelhouse.

The latest news for Retribution reveals the first trailer for the movie. The Retribution trailer showcases the simple, yet intense, premise — something that’s almost a mix between Speed and Phone Booth. Liam Neeson looks perfectly suited to the role of the desperate family man who is put in this impossible situation. However, apart from a scene showing Neeson working out on a punching bag, he may not be in the typical action hero mode as he usually is. More effectively, he looks to be a man out of his element in this dangerous situation who must use his intelligence to save himself and his family.

Overall, it is a slick and effective trailer and a great way to promote Retribution (which is a stand-alone action movie in a landscape dominated by sequels, spinoffs, and reboots of existing and established franchises). The biggest obstacle the movie had was selling the premise to the public without making it seem silly. The trailer for Retribution does a good job of this, making it look like a solid, edge-of-the-seat thriller that makes fun use of its isolated setting.

Retribution’s release date is August 25, 2023, priming the movie for a late-summer theatrical slot. An August release is perfect for this type of action movie, and there are a number of similar films releasing around the same time. The Meg 2: The Trench and Gran Turismo both have releases slated for August 2023. Retribution will have stiff competition between both movies as the former is a Jason Statham-led sequel and the former is a film based on a popular video game franchise.

Nimród Antal was announced to direct Retribution at the same time Neeson was slated to star in the movie in November 2020. The announcement also came with the news that Jaume Collet-Serra was set to produce, reuniting the frequent collaborators. Collet-Serra directed Neeson in Unknown, Non-Stop, Run All Night, and The Collector, so this is another in a long line of movies between the pair. The prolific performer has worked alongside dozens of different directors over the course of his long career, but this is the first time Neeson has worked with Antal.

Previously, Antal directed horror, action, and comedy movies. Among his more notable movies is Predators​​​​​​, the third installment of the Predator movie franchise. Antal also directed a few episodes of both Stranger Things and Servant. Antal’s works generally have dark and brooding themes to them, but he is no stranger to levity, as evidenced by his 2003 feature directorial debut, the Hungarian comedy-horror film Kontroll. It isn’t completely clear exactly what kind of movie Retribution will be, but Antal’s history shows he has the range to tackle a variety of movie genres.

Liam Neeson stars in Retribution as Matt Turner, the primary target of the movie’s villain. The trailer sets him up to be a complicated character, suggesting he could have a lot of enemies as he lost his clients a lot of money. Jack Champion (Avatar: The Way of Water, Scream VI) and Lilly Aspell (Young Diana in the Wonder Woman franchise) play Matt’s kids who are trapped in the car with him. Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket, Stranger Things) plays Matt’s friend who looks to be an early victim in the story although this could be a misdirect by the trailer.

Embeth Davidtz (The Amazing Spider-Man, Matilda), Arian Moayed (Spider-Man: No Way Home, Succession), and Noma Dumezweni (The Little Mermaid) have all been cast in unknown roles. The rest of the cast is filled out with German actors, including Emily Kusche and Jerry Kwarteng, who are prolific in their home country. Director Nimród Antal and producer Jaume Collet-Serra have both made movies set in Europe, and many of Neeson’s own films take him out of the United States, so it’s not entirely unexpected for Retribution to have a multinational cast. El Desconocido does not have a multinational element, but the remake may make it so that Matt’s business dealings affect people out of the country.

As a remake, the basic plot of Retribution should follow similar beats to El Desconocido. In Retribution, Matt Turner (Neeson) is a bank executive and father of two. On a seemingly ordinary day, Matt drives his children to school while his wife stays at home. Along the way, Matt receives an anonymous phone call alerting him that if anyone leaves their seats in the car, a planted bomb will go off, killing everyone. The mysterious caller orders Matt to transfer a huge sum of money to his bank account, and only afterward will he disable the bombs. The caller informs Matt that he’s being targeted because of shady business practices.

At first, Matt is suspicious of the threat, but then he encounters a coworker facing a similar crisis. When that person’s car explodes, the stakes are raised. Together, Matt and his kids have to drive around, keeping the police from forcing them out of the car, while attempting to find out exactly why they are being targeted. Retribution is similar to Speed in that the protagonists are trapped and unable to escape the puzzle they’ve been put into without setting off a bomb. However, Matt’s career and his relationship with the person on the phone suggest that he may be in part responsible for the situation his family is in.

The first Retribution trailer for the Lian Neeson thriller has been released, giving audiences a good look at the small-scale yet high-stakes story. The movie begins with Neeson’s Matt Turner on an ordinary morning driving his kids to school before getting a mysterious phone call telling him there are bombs in his car that will explode unless he follows specific instructions.

The Retribution trailer does a great job of grabbing the audience’s attention with its set-up. While it might seem like the premise can’t be sustained, the trailer is packed with exciting developments with Matt seemingly being framed and police chasing as well as Neeson turning on his tough action hero persona as he attempts to turn the tables on the villains. It is a solid first trailer for what could be a fun late-summer thriller.

Retribution 2023 Movie Review