Liam Neeson is back in “The Veteran”. A road movie in which he plays a worn-out man who helps a little boy escape the clutches of a cartel.
The Veteran : a road movie against a backdrop of revenge
Liam Neeson’s new feature film follows in the footsteps of three films worn by two other comedians looking tired but not yet ready to hang up: Gran Torino, Rambo: Last Blood and Cry Macho. After Clint Eastwood and Sylvester Stallone, the actor in turn plays an exhausted former soldier in The Veteran. A worn out and broke man, on the verge of losing the ranch near which he scattered his wife’s ashes.
An archetypal character that Liam Neeson was to end up interpreting after more than a decade spent mainly on the side of the action, marked by remarkable films (The Wolf Territory), nice surprises (Walk between the graves, Cold blood) and anecdotal productions (The Good Criminal, Ice Road).
Here he lends his features to Jim, a rancher living in Arizona, on the border between the United States and Mexico. Along the barrier between the two countries aboard his pickup, he comes across young Miguel (Jacob Perez) and his mother Rosa (Teresa Ruiz), who cross it illegally to flee the members of a cartel. By reflex, Jim calls the border patrol, in which his daughter Sarah (Katheryn Winnick) works.
A decision which results in the death of Rosa, shot dead by one of the soldiers of the criminal organization. Understanding that Miguel is going to be expelled and found by the cartel, Jim takes him under his wing and decides to drive to Chicago, where some members of his family live. On the road, a friendship is born between the little boy and the old man hoping for redemption, pursued by gangsters in search of revenge.
Liam Neeson: Last Blood?
In his way of taking time without forgetting his plot, of making his characters endearing without hiding their flaws and of dwelling on the great American spaces, The Veteran thus recalls several films of Clint Eastwood. The connection is not due to chance since the road movie is signed Robert Lorenz, assistant director of the sacred monster, in particular on Mystic river as well as Million Dollar Baby, and producer of his films Blood debt at American Sniper. He also directed him in the dramatic comedy A new chance.
Like Walt Kowalski in Gran Torino, Jim launches a final assault in The Veteran. Which means that Liam Neeson is also preparing to lay down his arms? In 2015, the 69-year-old actor was already thinking of settling down. Last year, during an interview for AND, he also ensured make “one or two more” action movies before quitting, feeling that he was almost too old for this bullshit.
But the time for appeasement is not not come yet. Liam Neeson should indeed be back in French cinemas on March 16, 2022 with Blacklight. In this thriller that marks his reunion with director Mark Williams after The Good Criminal, he plays a secret agent who discovers a conspiracy within his organization.
After this health walk, he will come back in Memory by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale), remake of Memory of the Killer in which he plays a hired killer tracked down and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Finally, before putting on Detective Philip Marlowe’s raincoat for Neil Jordan (Michael collins), he will succeed the excellent Luis Tosar in Retribution, remake ofUnknown call signed Nimród Antal (Predators). The holidays will therefore have to wait.
The Veteran is to be discovered on Canal + from January 7, 2022.