Liam Neeson’s new action thriller Retribution has been described as in the running for “worst film of the year” by critics.
Directed by Nimród Antal (Predators), the film follows financier Matt Turner (Neeson) who is threatened by a mysterious bomber while driving his son and daughter to school. Other cast members include Noma Dumezweni, Lilly Aspell and Jack Champion.
It’s the third remake of the 2015 Spanish film The Stranger, following German and Korean adaptations in 2018 and 2021 respectively.
Retribution, which was released in the US on August 25, received a negative review on Rolling Stone, who described it as a “formula beaten into submission”.
“Retribution is not the worst of his thrillers/action movies – that honour belongs to either last year’s god-awful Blacklight or this freezer-burned turkey – but it does suggest that Neeson may want to consider retiring from the everyman action-hero beat for good,” the review reads. “What once felt like a niche being expertly filled now resembles a formula beaten into submission, like so many nameless thugs threatening the safety of a tough guy’s offspring.”
A review on the NZ Herald is titled: “Liam Neeson’s Retribution may be in the running for ‘Worst Film Of The Year.’”
The film, which currently holds a 43 rating on Metacritic, was also negatively received by The New York Times. “[Neeson’s] gravitas alone can’t salvage the frustrating plot contrivances and ridiculous dialogue that make the characters sound dumber and dumber the more they explain their motivations,” the review reads.
Vulture, however, praised the film, describing it as a “paycheck movie” but one where Neeson and director Nimród Antal “have earned the paycheck”. The review adds: “I’m excited to see what Liam Neeson will be stuck inside next.”
Retribution is set to premiere in the UK on Sky Cinema and NOW later this year. A specific release date has to be announced.
Neeson is lined up to lead a reboot of crime spoof Naked Gun, directed by The Lonely Island member Akiva Schaffer and produced by Seth MacFarlane.