Linda Cook review: ‘Honest Thief’ is serviceable Liam Neeson actioner

Movies

If ever there were such a thing as “your average Liam Neeson movie,” this is it.

“Honest Thief” is just about what you’d expect from an actioner with Neeson – a little romance, some revenge, a few fights and despicable bad guys. Not as good as “Taken” but enough to keep your interest, it’s serviceable, and often silly, entertainment for a dreary time.

Director and co-writer Mark Williams, co-creator of the enjoyable series “Ozark,”gives us Neeson as Tom, a bank robber known as the In and Out Bandit, a name he despises.

Over the years, Tom has stolen $9 million from a dozen banks. He needs to store his money, and when he visits a Boston storage center, he meets Annie (Kate Walsh, “The Umbrella Academy”) who is as instantly smitten with him as he is with her.

Within a year, the two become serious, and Tom proposes they buy a house together. He realizes he must turn himself in to start a new life with her, and he tries to do exactly that.
He figures that, by being honest, he can gete a reduced sentence. But the agents he calls don’t believe him, because they’ve heard too many false confessions before – some about the very crimes Tom has committed.

Two other detectives end up visiting Tom, who is staying a hotel. When one of them gets greedy, violence erupts, and Tom must flee.

Tom is smart, and has A Past, so he has an unusual set of skills ideal for handling just such a situation. Of course, he must tell Annie about the mess he’s in.

Inexplicably, among the characters is a detective with a cute little fuzzy dog he ended up with after his divorce. The pup is adorable and a natural in front of the camera – maybe she should have her own franchise.

“Honest Thief” will not become a franchise. It’s serviceable, but sometimes that’s all you need, along with Neeson’s talent, for a mini-getaway to the theater.

2 out of 4 stars

Rated: PG-13 for foul language and violence.

Running time: One hour and 39 minutes.

In theaters.

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