Liam Neeson has played some iconic roles in his film career; from Schindler’s List’s Oskar Schindler to Valjean in Les Miserables. While Neeson has proven he can play any type of role, most of us know him because of a very particular set of skills.
Neeson is bad ass and his action-movie resume is extensive. But as they say, “all good things must come to an end,” and Neeson announced at the Toronto International Film Festival this week that he was, in fact, retiring from action movies.
“I’m like: ‘Guy’s I’m sixty-f—-n-five,'” Neeson said. “Audiences are eventually going to go: ‘Come on.’”
In an industry that has failed to develop young action stars, it’ll be sad to see Neeson take his leave. But for now, let’s look back at his best five action roles.
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
Yes, this movie was an abomination. However, Neeson’s Qui-Gon Jinn was one of the very few redeeming qualities of the first Star Wars prequel.
5) The A-Team
I don’t care what you say, this film worked for me. Neeson was the perfect Hannibal and led an all-star cast in the action comedy. I honestly don’t remember much of the plot or how it ended, but I do remember being thoroughly entertained and some bad-ass explosions. Ignore the Rotten Tomatoes score and give this one a chance.
4) Run All Night
I believe the alternate title for this film was Taken 4: This Time It’s My Son. It’s a fair point but it’s also fair to say it was far better than the other two films in that franchise. Neeson’s alcoholic, do-what-ever-it-takes father role works and Run All Night climaxes with a pair of excellent fight scenes. No spoilers here but definitely worth the watch.
3) The Grey
Liam Neeson fights a wolf in a snowstorm. This movie is worth watching purely for that scene.
Take Face/Off, The Shadow and sprinkle in some “Valar Morghulis” and you have Sam Raimi’s 1990 quasi-superhero movie, Darkman. Dr. Peyton Westlake is left for dead but has a plan for vengeance. With the ability to disguise himself as anyone he wants, for 99 minutes, Westlake navigates the seedy, criminal underworld to gain back his love and get revenge on who ruined his life and left him disfigured.
If you want to convince me this isn’t Neeson’s best action movie, I’ve got two words for you… “Good luck.” Neeson was already a top-billed actor but the Taken franchise put him on the map as a genuine action stud. Taken had audiences on the edge of their seat from start to finish. Kim really didn’t seem all that distraught about her dead best friend though. Not cool, Kim.