It’s the age of Liam Neeson, Hollywood’s most unexpected action movie star. We love watching Liam run after bad guys and beat them up, but we worry he might be backing himself into an action star corner. Will Liam Neeson find his way back to the world of dramas, or is he doomed to a fate like Nicolas Cage’s?
Oh, is the Dark Knight rising? Who cares. Have the Avengers brought justice to the world? Big deal. Is Spider-Man swinging from skyscrapers again? Yawn. At the end of the day, those are all a bunch of weirdos running around in spandex and capes. When we want revenge served ice cold, we find it tastes best coming from a real man — someone who stops at nothing to avenge his loved ones and whose brow furrows like only a true hero’s can. Someone like Liam Neeson.
It’s been coming for a few years, but we think it’s now safe to officially declare this the age of Liam Neeson. The man has had a long, impressive career, but recently it seems like Liam Neeson is in every third movie released, each one featuring him toting a gun and just eking his way out of yet another impossibly tight spot. The poster for the sequel to his 2009 hit movie Taken has just been released, and based on the way it features Liam gazing pensively at his gun, we know we’re in for some serious action sequences and strategic negotiating come October 2012.
Who would have thought the man who immortalized Oskar Schindler so memorably back in 1993 would be Hollywood’s go-to action star nearly two decades later? Yet it is precisely the fact that Liam has been such a revered actor for his whole career that makes his sudden foray into the world of action flicks so exciting. It’s entirely possible that the films he stars in aren’t very good, but we really wouldn’t know: Liam’s presence and clout elevates the movies to a more respectable level, blinding us to many of their flaws.
But while we couldn’t be more thrilled for Liam Neeson, who must be enjoying what is easily the height of his career, we thought we’d take a minute to address this nagging little voice in the backs of our heads that seems to grow louder with each of his newly released films. The more we listen to it, the more the voice sounds like Nicolas Cage‘s — a strange phenomenon indeed, until we realized why this was happening. Nicolas Cage is another actor who once enjoyed a diverse career and great respect from fans and fellow actors alike. Somewhere along the way, Nick got caught up in the world of action films. At first it was great watching Nicolas Cage ride around on motorcycles chasing bad guys, but after the eighth time, it started to become a bit boring. The movies he was in grew increasingly worse, and his performance in them grew less and less exciting. Eventually it reached a point where people simply gave up on Nicolas Cage, forgetting their reasons for loving him all those years. Now he’s no more than a punchline who stars in things like Season of the Witch and National Treasure 3.
The last thing we want is for Liam Neeson to meet the same fate as Nicolas Cage, or even worse, Chuck Norris. While we love watching Liam Neeson run around a lot and shoot at things, we just worry that he may be on the road to overdoing the action thing. Getting pigeonholed is never a good thing, especially for an actor, and once people start seeing him as only an action guy, he’ll have a real problem. We have faith that he has this under control — he is, after all, reaching an age that makes chase scenes a little more difficult — but we just figured it wouldn’t hurt to express what’s been on our minds. For now, though, pass us the popcorn: Liam Neeson is shooting at someone again.