You know watching "A Walk Among the Tombstones", I noticed something about that film I hadn't seen in a long time...conciseness. The film, which starred Mr. Neeson as the lead character Matthew Scudder, actually saw characters in an environment, interacting with the world on a detailed path from beginning to end. It was not simply a blur of craziness and spontaneity (David O. Russell, I'm looking at you). It was a film that had a purpose. From the Alfred Hitchcock-like opening title sequence to the noir-like closing sequence, "A Walk Among the Tombstones" shined as a cult classic that, if made in the time where conciseness was valued above over-stimulation, would be hailed an instant masterpiece. And even if the movie itself had failed, it would simply cement Mr. Liam Neeson's spectacular ability to work in any film.
It's funny. For the last 6 years, since 2008's "Taken", Neeson has thrived as a sort of Bourne-like action star. With "Taken" we saw the former CIA agent to the air marshall in "Non-Stop" last year. His characters are edged in detail. Bryan Mills is a man of precision and calculation with love driving him. Every step he takes is exact. His body language displays this. In "Non-Stop" we see quite a different man. A man driven by grief with a smoking problem and a more erratic personality. Now these films aren't considered great...but Neeson is. GOing back to his classic days as Oskar Schindler from "Schindler's List" or the titular character of "Michael Collins", it becomes apparent that Neeson is not only just an actor, but the definition of acting. His transformations, relying little on physical change, show in how he moves, speaks, and talks. While his films aren't always masterful, he is probably one of the most consistent actors I've ever seen.
Whether driven by the grief of the loss of his wife in real life or just simply a man who loves to work, you see so much investment in his face. I mean let's be honest...he made "Star Wars - Episode I: The Phantom Menace" as Qui-Gon. He makes every film because he's willing to play different characters and do it with a level of commitment few actors have nowadays.
He's been around since the late 70's and has seemed to never slow down, but rather speed up in the number of films he does a year (He was in 7 movies in 2014 and will be in at least 4 movies in 2015). The man loves to act and he loves to show his abilities. I could go on forever about that because really it never gets old. He's a modest, extremely-talented man. And he doesn't plan to stop any time soon it seems.
I'll just say it, this will be the shortest "Unsung Hero" story I write. Why? Because his work speaks for him. His versatility, his energy, and his power as an actor. He is known by all whether it's as an action star, a dramatic actor, or the rare times he takes on comedic roles. So let's just bow our heads and save the long article I could draw-out. I will say, however, what I think he's thinking: