Say it isn’t so. The man with the “particular set of skills” is done using those said skills? Liam Neeson, who resurrected his career with a jump to the action movie genre, says he’s done slapping around bad guys, but not before one (maybe two) final goodbye.
The Ice Road stars Liam Neeson as Mike, a down-on-his-luck ice road trucker who offers his particular set of driving skills to save a group of diamond miners in a collapsed mine in the far northern regions of Canada. Unable to save the crew through usual means, the only way to get to them is to take 3 18-wheelers over frozen waters. They have one simple issue, the waters have been thawing, making for a perilous journey. Check out the thrilling trailer.
Let’s make that two issues. Someone doesn’t want Liam Neeson’s crew to save those trapped miners.
As you can see, Liam Neeson is up to his neck in action in The Ice Road. From all appearances and while he does look to have a little hand-to-hand, it looks as though the skills Neeson displays in this film revolve around driving the big rig.
The Ice Road also stars Laurence Fishburne (Matrix franchise) as Goldenrod, the man who brings together Neeson with his crew. Benjamin Walker and Amber Midthunder also star along with Matt Salinger (son of The Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger) and Matt McCoy.
Throughout Liam Neeson’s career, he found himself in an action movie or two. Starting with 1981s Excalibur, Neeson went on to star in a few other action films. One of his bigger titles was Darkman, the Sam Raimi superhero-ish flick that had Neeson wearing bandages on his face for much of the movie. For the most part, though, Neeson avoided the action film.
After his Academy Award nomination for his 1993 performance as Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, it still took Liam Neeson another five years before he would find an action role. This one came in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace where he played Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. It was another six years before he grabbed another action role in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins as Ra’s al Guhl. Three years later, we were “Taken” with Neeson.
When Liam Neeson introduced himself as a man with a “particular set of skills”, he was already a 56-year-old actor. While 56 is not in the least bit old, for one to begin an action career at that age may be asking for more than one can handle. Not for Liam Neeson. He made Bryan Mills look ordinary until he didn’t have to. His skills with a gun were on point but it was his ability to handle bad guys with his hands that were truly remarkable.
Liam Neeson turned Taken into Taken 2, then Taken 3. He moved on to other action flicks such as The A-Team, The Grey, Unknown, Non-Stop, A Walk Among the Tombstones, Run All Night, The Commuter, and most recently The Marksman. His action movies are always solid fare and his performances, while similar in appearance, are always on point. Neeson has turned into a very dependable action star at the box office.
So, when he told ET that his action film career was coming to an end, it wasn’t what fans cared to hear. “Oh, yeah. I think so,” Neeson explains to ET‘s Lauren Zima. “I’m 68 and a half. 69 this year. There’s a couple more I’m going to do this year — hopefully, COVID allowing us — there’s a couple in the pipeline and, then I think that will probably be it. Well, unless I’m on a Zimmer frame or something.” The interview came earlier this year right before The Marksman made it to theaters. He then spoke about another action movie waiting in the wings, Blacklight.
“I’ve just finished one in Australia and I had a fight scene with a kid — lovely, sweet actor called Taylor — and halfway through the fight I looked up, I was breathless and it didn’t cost him a cent, and I said, ‘Taylor, what age are you?’ He said, ’25.'” Neeson laughs, “I said, ‘That’s the age of my eldest son!'”
Liam Neeson says he’s never been the “gym rat” type. He never was big into working out, though he finds time to power walk and uses a rowing machine. But father time eventually catches up to the best of us and it seemingly has for Neeson too.
Besides those two upcoming movies, Liam Neeson also has Memory in the pipeline, a movie that may or may not have an action-oriented storyline. Also due is Marlowe, where Liam Neeson will play Raymond Chandler’s famous private detective Phillip Marlowe (made famous by Humphrey Bogart). There is also that persistent rumor that Neeson may be picking up a lightsaber one more time as Qui-Gon for the Disney+ series Obi-Wan.
If you’re looking for perhaps one last action go around for Liam Neeson, The Ice Road premieres on Netflix on June 25, 2021.