KSL Movie Show review: ‘In the Land of Saints and Sinners’ has Liam Neeson doing his thing

Mar 29, 2024, 5:00 PM | Updated: Apr 1, 2024, 2:11 pm

in the land of saints and sinners poster next to ksl movie show host steve salles...

"In the Land of Saints and Sinners" lets Liam Neeson be a "duck in his own waters."

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — It feels like it’s been a whole six months since we last saw Liam Neeson on the big screen. Not that I’m complaining, because most of those films have been above average.

It’s easy to like an actor when he has the charisma of the big Irish lug, especially when he’s making movies in his native Ireland. He has played a lot of “duck out of water” characters. Now it’s nice to see him as a “duck in his own waters”.

Except, he’s not actually supposed to be not exactly nice in this movie, as he’s in the twilight of a career in killing bad guys… we hope.

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Finbar Murphy (Neeson’s character) worked for a crime boss (Colm Meaney) who has ties with the Irish Republican Army in the 1970s, when “the troubles” were taking place between the Irish and the British.

Finbar becomes disillusioned during his latest kill. A political figure flat-out tells him that he knew this day would come. He knew because he had done so many bad things in his early days just as Finbar is doing now.

The man recounts how he got out of the business and tried to make something out of his life, but knew his past would eventually catch up with him.

This gives Finbar a change of heart, insisting he wants to wash his hands of the whole mess and take up a new hobby, perhaps becoming a gardener –which all his cronies scoff at.

But he’s determined to end his killing career, except for one particular jerk who has been beating this young village girl, whom Finbar is keen to protect.

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So okay. Just one more body to add to Murphy’s killing fields, where he plants trees over the bad guy’s graves.

You can see at a glance that Finbar has been in this business for a very long time, depending on the size of the trees in this open glen.

Unfortunately, this particular jerk Curtis June (Desmond Eastwood) is under the protection of the IRA. And the powers that be have a tough IRA operative Doireann McCann (Banshees of Inisherin’s Kerry Condon) already looking into the matter.

She and her cohorts, including Curtis, had been lying low after a vicious bombing that inadvertently killed a number of innocent children.

So Finbar has no idea what he’s stepped in, but suddenly has a lot of people coming at him to take him down. Even his own crime boss, who has connections in all these underworlds, can do nothing to protect him.

Now, of course, Finbar will have to use all his “special skills” to try and stay alive, but the numbers for his hopeful survival are not good.

One slight drawback, despite the location shooting in all the charming Irish countryside, there is still the matter of the strong Irish brogue that makes following every word pretty much nearly impossible.

Still, we get to see Liam Neeson do his thing, without understanding all the words he’s saying. He was in his natural surroundings and that was more than enough to keep me interested and entertained. I hope you have a similar experience.

IN THE LAND OF SAINTS & SINNERS (B) Rated R for violence, and language throughout. Starring Liam Neeson, Kerry Condon, Ciarán Hinds, Desmond Eastwood and Colm Meaney. Directed by Robert Lorenz (“The Marksman” “Trouble with the Curve”) – filmed in County Donegal, Ireland. Running time: 106 minutes.

The KSL Movie Show with Andy Farnsworth and Steve Salles airs Fridays on KSL NewsRadio from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Follow the show on Facebook, and join The KSL Movie Show Club for exclusive perks by texting MOVIE to 57500.

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KSL Movie Show review: ‘In the Land of Saints and Sinners’ has Liam Neeson doing his thing