“Liam Neeson” is the name of the Northern Irish actor who earned an Oscar nomination for his role in Schindler’s List. It’s also shorthand for a very specific kind of movie in which a man (who is always Liam Neeson) with a very specific job (think snowplow driver) faces a painfully specific life-or-death challenge (rescue your teenage daughter from an Albanian sex trafficking ring) and uses his very specific set of skills in order to meet that challenge. Sort of like if Mad Libs were a movie plot. On Tuesday, Netflix released the trailer for its upcoming thriller The Ice Road, which sees Neeson chasing down the clock to save 26 trapped miners in less than 30 hours and dropping lines like “This is personal!” and “Now I’m angry!” in the Neesoniest way possible.
Netflix describes the movie as follows:
“After a remote diamond mine collapses in far northern Canada, a ‘big-rig’ ice road driver (Neeson) must lead an impossible rescue mission over a frozen ocean to save the trapped miners. Contending with thawing waters and a massive storm, they discover the real threat is one they never saw coming.”
Yep, that sounds about right.
It’s worth noting that Neeson was a bit of a late bloomer when it came to his action star status. It wasn’t until 2008’s Taken, which was co-written by Luc Besson, that the actor’s career took a turn for the action-packed. In the years since then, he has made what feels like hundreds of other thrillers with similar plots and almost identical posters.
Yet Neeson has also said that he, too, has made enough action-thrillers to last him a lifetime. In 2015, he announced that he’d be retiring from action movies in two years. In 2017, he claimed to be officially retired from the genre, telling journalists at the Toronto Film Festival: “I’m sixty-f***ing-five. Audiences are eventually going to go: ‘Come on.’”
But that was four years ago. And in January of this year, Neeson once again stated that the end of his days stunting and yelling at people are about to come to an end. “I’m 68 and a half—69 this year,” Neeson told Entertainment Tonight. “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.”
Does he truly mean it this time? Don’t bet on it.