In 2009, actor Liam Neeson starred in Pierre Morel’s surprise sleeper hit Taken, and what began was an onslaught of early year/before spring Neeson action releases that solidified the star as playing aging, ‘could-be real life’ superheroes. Since then, there are only two things certain about early action film releases; there will always be one featuring kick-ass icon Jason Statham playing the younger, balder super human hero, and one featuring Neeson, usually playing a wrinkled, more seasoned action star who could very well be your father (or grandfather)–which was badass three films ago. Deep down I am secretly waiting for Hollywood to come to their senses and announce a showdown between the two action superstars. Now talk about a kick-ass early year action release that we kinda saw coming.
Every so often, there comes a film that is so grotesque, so brutal in its depiction on the degradation of the human spirit and the treatment of human beings, that it’s almost impossible to ignore. 12 Years a Slave is that movie. The film is a harrowingly real nightmare of a film.