Retribution Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Liam Neeson, Matthew Modine, Jack Champion, Lilly Aspell, Embeth Dadvidtz, and ensemble.

Director: Nimród Antal

Retribution Movie Review
Retribution Movie Review ( Photo Credit – IMDb )

What’s Good: Liam Neeson trying so hard to make this idea that seemed interesting on paper to translate on screen similarly.

What’s Bad: Just how done people are with their lives to not understand there are bombs under their seat. We need to protect Liam’s on screen families now, because dude’s been fighting for years but just can’t anymore.

Loo Break: There’s no bomb under your seat, and the one in front also is quite predictable. Remo D’souza level conviction will make you miss the loo.

Watch or Not?: If you really have nothing to watch, or don’t want to use your brain much, go for it. Trust me we have overworked at theatres these couple of months. Won’t be surprised if this one balances that out.

Language: English

Available on: In Theatres Near You.

Runtime: 90 Minutes.


User Rating:

A top-tier bank officer, Matt Turner’s (Liam) family is in danger because someone has planted bombs under their car seats and is demanding money from him in return of their lives. Locked in his car, he now has to dodge the police force and find his blackmailer to save the day.

Retribution Movie Review
Retribution Movie Review ( Photo Credit – IMDb )

Retribution Movie Review: Script Analysis

Liam Neeson’s transition from a romantic guy to the one who is saving his family or avenging them has been quite abrupt. Not to forget, he now finds comfort in these scripts and we must collectively blame the people offering them to him. Retribution is yet another, ‘oh, my family is in danger let’s save them and meanwhile mend my broken bonds’ kind of drama that is so focused on telling an one tone story that it forgets there is a world that exists outside the car that the entire movie is set in.

With a conviction like Remo D’souza for Race 3 (Indian audience will know), writer Christopher Salmanpour adapts Alberto Marini’s novel El Desconocido. A day in a bank executive’s life takes an ugly turn when he sets out to drop his kids to school only to realise they have on boarded a car with a bomb in it. What all trajectories could follow? Will this be the moment our hero goes in flashback and looks at his personal life in which his wife is now seeking a divorce? Do we talk of corruption and how the elite are robbing us, civilians with the scams? Does this lock three characters in a closed space so they reassess their relationship and re-establish their bond?

None of the above. Matt pulls the gear listens to a faceless command over the car and does what it tells him to without really letting audience react to it. For the first 30 minutes, it feels like Christopher, with director Nimród Antal, is trying to confuse the audience and make them uneasy. Because Matt, who acts as our window to this world is equally confused and uneasy. The plot device even works for a while because we are trying to get comfortable on this ride. But once the 30 minutes of a total 90 go and you still don’t have much to hook to, the fatigue starts kicking in, and the movie losses all the track.

The redemption as per the makers is placed in two scenes, one with the Interpol and other with the villain reveal. But none land like they should because the twist is so weird and dramatized that it feels funny, but never severe. Add to it the movie, then challenges physics with convenience. The writing never tries to even explore the world outside the car. When it does, it takes us to another car where a woman is trying to get down despite knowing there’s a bomb. “There’s a bomb under your seat and will explode if you get down”, what part of that statement means you should get down? Logic goes out of the room so does the woman, and she blows up with our patience to keep up with this story.

Retribution Movie Review: Star Performance

Liam Neeson has found his comfort zone in this genre. While there is no harm because Keanu Reeves has built an entire IP avenging his dog’s murder, but then the script of John Wick has been consistently serving brilliant content. But for Liam, his repeated choice is not working well. It is not Liam to be entirely blamed because he looks at these stories with conviction, but the entire village must reassess the material they are investing in.

Everyone else in the movie is one tone and don’t grow more than they are introduced. Their sudden change of heart comes as no surprise, because we have seen this already. Lilly Aspell has so much potential but doesn’t get to so much.

My brain refuses to make peace with the fact that Matthew Modine found this script lucrative enough to play the weirdest part. His last few projects include Stanger Things, and Oppenheimer, and he was also in The Dark Knight Rises so that you know.

Retribution Movie Review
Retribution Movie Review ( Photo Credit – IMDb )

Retribution Movie Review: Direction, Music

Nimród Antal brings to life what is written on paper as it is, and one can easily see that. But that is not enough because the visual narrative never goes beyond what is in the frame. The conflicts never come alive as they should, bonds are never developed, the tension never touches the peak, and the effect is diluted.

The camera work is basic and the music is very much in the background, not really seeking attention. It does work every time a blast takes place.

Retribution Movie Review: The Last Word

Retribution needed to be more than just a man trying to save his family from a faceless enemy and defuse a bomb, but it chooses to be basic.

Retribution Trailer

Retribution releases on 25 August, 2023.

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