As for the rest of us mortals, we sense something familiar in Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson).
Perhaps it’s the way he lowers his gaze for a nanosecond, every time someone brings up how badly he messed up in the past.
Maybe it’s the way he holds a gun and shoots, with not a wisp of enjoyment but resignation. “This is all I’m good for”, every bullet seems to proclaim.
It could be the way he stares at his only son, every muscle in his countenance thirsting for forgiveness.
The film’s more powerful moments are so brief they could have easily been left on the cutting room floor.
Jimmy cracking a joke to ease the tension with his son, Michael (Joel Kinnaman); Jimmy saying “Don’t do it son”, and shooting someone himself; Jimmy, old and weary and dejected, limping across the yard while swarms of cops surround him.
One could make the case that this thriller features nothing we haven’t seen before, and that these are the ravings of yours truly.
But take a look at the ending.
That “catharsis”, the moment in which 2 characters make amends and everything’s better, never arrives.
We keep expecting forgiveness, tears, or both.
All we get is regret.
And we don’t go to the movies for that, do we?