Directed by Nimród Antal, Retribution is the latest in what’s become the yearly traditional action movies led by Taken’s Liam Neeson. In this feature, the actor plays an investment banker based in Berlin who becomes the target of a deranged bomb-yielding stranger. This film marks the third remake of the 2015 Spanish thriller El Desconocido.
Where can you watch Retribution in the UAE?
+ Liam Neeson
+ A could of decent action sequences
– The plot
– Annoying characters
– Predictable “twist” ending
Retribution starts with investment banker Matt (Neeson) about to start another busy day of chasing after money. It seems some of his clients have lost too much on their investments, and his boss, Anders (Matthew Modine), wants Matt to call them and get them back on board.
His wife, Heather (Embeth Davidtz), has important plans for her day and demands Matt take their two kids, Zach (Jack Champion) and Emily (Lilly Aspell), to school. While our protagonist is very busy and has to make an important work call on his way to the office, he reluctantly agrees to give his children a ride.
Moody teenager Zach wasn’t even planning on attending classes that day. Instead, he wanted to spend some time with his new girlfriend. Nevertheless, killjoy Matt forces his son to get in the car.
That soon proves to be a mistake as our hero receives a call from a mysterious stranger who tells him that there’s a bomb under his seat. And should he or his children leave the car, they would be blown up into oblivion.
To prove his point, the villain makes Matt watch one of his work colleagues’s car blow up in front of him. And the police can’t help, especially as Europol agents led by Angela (Noma Dumezweni) are convinced Matt is the one responsible for the bombings.
Considering that most of Retribution follows Liam Neeson driving around and talking on the phone, the movie manages to stay engaging enough. There’s enough suspense to keep viewers interested in the story.
Not terrible, but not great either
However, the character development (or lack of it) is where this film fails. The two kids are annoying, and the story doesn’t give enough information about them to make viewers care about their fate. Their story arcs range from annoying teens to surprisingly quiet considering the situation they’re in. And the film would have been the same without them in the car.
Also, Liam Neeson’s character is boring. He makes a constant stream of terrible decisions throughout the whole course of the film. And most of the movie is just watching him mumble into a phone. We only get the Taken-style action hero at the very end and by then, it’s too little too late.
And then there’s the Europol plotline. While Noma Dumezweni is excellent, it’s hard to understand why her character remains convinced throughout the movie that Neeson’s character is behind the bombings, despite seeing consistent evidence to the contrary. It makes for a frustrating watch.
As a whole, Retribution isn’t a terrible movie. But it is the type of film that should have been released directly to streaming.
What are other critics saying about Retribution (Video Reviews):
Spoiler Warning: In his review, Jeremy Jahns states he didn’t enjoy this movie at all. And he wasn’t keen on the plot holes, the dialogue, or the characters.
Tyrone Magnus enjoyed the acting and the action scenes but wasn’t too impressed with the ending.
Lonely Guy Loves Movies praised the acting from Neeson and the rest of the cast but thought that the film “falls apart” in the third act.