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Liam Neeson’s latest thriller is about a car that will explode if he stops driving it

Retribution once again affirms Neeson’s commitment to making every kind of action thriller

Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

Since becoming a breakout action star with 2008’s Taken, Liam Neeson has starred in action movies set on planes and on trains. So naturally, now it’s time for automobiles. In Retribution, Neeson plays an investment banker who, you guessed it, has to save his family from a threat. And in typical Neeson fashion, it actually looks like a lot of fun. Retribution is set for release in theaters on Aug. 25.

This latest family-saving thriller has fund manager Matt Turner (Neeson) and his kids being held hostage by an anonymous caller who hooked a bomb up to Turner’s car, which he says he’ll detonate if Turner fails to follow instructions, or brings the car to an unsanctioned stop. With that premise in place, the trailer shows us all kinds of car maneuvers, red herrings, and big explosions — none of which are Neeson or his kids actually blowing up, presumably.

Action-movie fans may already be thinking that this sounds a like the premise of Speed, where a bus rigged with bombs will explode if Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock don’t keep it going above 50 MPH at all times. The real twist, however, is that this is actually a remake of a Spanish movie called El Desconocido (though its English title was also Retribution). Even more interestingly, this is actually the third remake the movie has received after the German version, Don’t. Get. Out!, and the South Korean version, Hard Target. Perhaps even more surprisingly, Neeson was first set to star in this American remake in 2017, but the project was delayed.

Retribution is directed by Nimród Antal (Predators), and written by Andrew Baldwin (Invasion), Ward Parry (The Shattering), and Christopher Salmanpour (FBI: Most Wanted), from the script of the original Spanish film, which was written by Alberto Marini. Along with Neeson, the film also stars Jack Champion (Avatar: The Way of Water), Matthew Modine (Stranger Things), and Arian Moayed (Succession).

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