- Written by
- Brad Ingelsby
- Directed by
- Jaume Collet-Serra
- Liam Neeson, Ed Harris and Joel Kinnaman
In a role that has the familiarity of a middle-aged male bedtime story, Liam Neeson plays washed-up former hit man, Jimmy "the Gravedigger" Conlon, and the oh-so familiar Neeson menacing phone call goes out to his old boss, Shawn (Ed Harris): You endangered my family, you die.
Shawn has vowed to kill Jimmy's estranged son, Mike (Joel Kinnaman) in retaliation for the death of his own out-of-control punk son (Boyd Holbrook).
The action spins out over a Christmas Eve (alternative title: Violent Night?) across the New York boroughs, with Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra (Non-Stop and Unknown), lavishes the story with whooshing aerial cameras and shadowy rat-warren interiors.
An overqualified cast (including Vincent D'Onofrio and an uncredited Nick Nolte) brings more gravity than required to repeated "this is me staring you down" confrontations. Rapper Common (Selma) shows up as a modern high-tech hit man with his own Kevlar vest and night-vision goggles.
"He's a professional," Neeson's character warns his son, suggesting his own gravedigging career was more that of an enthusiastic amateur.