I may be jumping the gun a bit, since the film doesn't officially open until September 19th, but there's just something about Liam Neeson's latest paranoid thriller, A Walk Among The Tombstones, that seems awfully familiar. Check out one if the earlier ads for the movie, still making the rounds on TV, and you'll see what mean:
Did you catch it? True, the plot (adapted from the novel by Robert Block) could be taken from any number of films, about an "off the books" detective hired to find the missing wife of some affluent rich guy in the city. And the action beats are practically recycled from Neeson's recent string of adrenaline-pumping, career-redefining hits. More specifically, though, I'm talking about 0:20 through 0:26, which should be enough to drive Taken fans into an absolute frenzy.
A kidnapped loved one. A threatening phone call. And finally, a promise of repercussions and vengeance. You know the drill. It's clear the ads for AWATT are trying to appeal to a particular demographic, and I don't mean people who enjoy leisurely strolls through cemeteries. Instead, I'm betting the folks at Universal Pictures are hoping and praying our love for all things Taken will be what ultimately ropes us into theaters. (That's a great title by the way: A Walk Among The Tombstones. In today's age of notoriously short attention spans, I'm surprised the title wasn't focus-grouped into something a little less like its source material and more BAM! SPIFF! POW!)
Conspicuously, that same "looking behind you for the rest of your worthless life" moment is missing from the film's actual trailer. Note how the plot tends to skew a lot darker too:
So wait... the rich guy's wife was actually murdered after he paid the ransom? And he wants the kidnappers captured so he can enact his revenge? Where was that helpful piece of information during the commercials? If that's the case, who is the damsel in distress being carted around by the bad guys? Can we even be sure at this point whether that fateful phone conversation actually happens during the movie at all? Time will tell, of course (and fans of the book already know the answer), but for now it's an abject lesson in how to market your movie to specific people in strangely specific ways.
Oh, and lest you think A Walk Among The Tombstones is the first one to have a go at this, you should also remember these:
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