Man's Man Liam Neeson Announces Retirement from Action Films
Hollywood actor Liam Neeson has announced he is retiring from starring in action films, citing his age as the factor which led him to a decision to deny fans future chances to see him punish his on-screen adversaries.
“Oh, yeah. I think so,” Neeson said of retiring from action films on “Entertainment Tonight” on Wednesday. “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.”
“I love doing [action films]. I love beating up guys half my age,” he added. But Neeson told the program he can’t go on forever fighting evil men onscreen, considering his age.
“I’ve just finished [the film “Backlight”] 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 concluded, “I said, ‘That’s the age of my eldest son!'”
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language and images that some viewers may find offensive:
Here is the trailer for Neeson’s upcoming action flick “The Marksman”:
While the revelation that a 68-year-old longtime Hollywood actor is hanging up his guns, fists and other unique sets of skills might not seem particularly newsworthy, it is tragic for those of us who refuse to surrender the culture over to the leftists. Film, and indeed all mediums for sharing stories, belongs to all of us collectively, and we need stories like those which Neeson tells.
For movie buffs, films that portray the iconic and dying storylines highlighting the classic good versus evil tropes are becoming few and far between. Anti-heroes and evil men and women who are written as protagonists now make up a great deal our characters in action and thriller films, and in TV. Neeson’s characters often portray a man willing to take any action necessary to protect innocence.
Screenwriters too often now tend to craft characters which blur the lines between right and wrong and the good versus the wicked, settling somewhere along the line that evil is relative and exists in us all. The result is sometimes a great story, without a doubt. But nothing will ever replace the gruff, plain-spoken and protective alpha male in film.
To differentiate Neeson’s characters like Bryan Mills from “Taken” from other modern and complex characters is not to diminish his depth as an actor, either. In 2012’s “The Grey,” which is arguably one of the actor’s finest performances, he finds himself engaged in nearly all the traditional story conflicts; man versus man, man versus self, man versus nature, etc.
The actor pulled off the role and then some, maintaining his edge as Hollywood’s premier action star, while displaying a knack for relaying humanity at its most dark and vulnerable. He was, as always, a man’s man.
The left has attempted to diminish the roles of strong males in society for decades. Notably, they’ve come after men in film.
“Toxic masculinity,” the left says, leads to violence, misogyny, microaggressions against minorities, colonialism and even COVID-19. Whether anyone truly believes that is debatable.
But what is not up for conversation is that in an era where we’ve lost so many strong male actors to age, death, retirement or bad writing, Neeson has remained relevant, and he’s gone on telling stories that entertain us while celebrating all that is good about traditional masculinity.
His films, as of late, are sometimes hit and miss with the critics, but he’s gone on making them, just as he’s gone on remaining true to himself and his fans.
No amount of woke feminist film reboots, implausible tough on-screen female characters and horribly written dialogue will ever supplant roles like Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” Callahan in that franchise or John Wayne’s Rooster Cogburn in 1969’s “True Grit” — or even Neeson’s Briar Gates in 1989’s “Next of Kin.”
The Irish actor’s characters have been steadfast — often good men fighting for what is righteous. Audiences have rewarded him for that because such stories resonate with us on a deeply human level. The world will always need men to be men.
Although politically liberal, Neeson is a fine actor and has preserved the traditional and nearly extinct manly action star for decades, and his contributions to such story-telling will surely be missed. Hopefully, others will step up in his absence.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.