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Liam Neeson doesn’t steal much more than your time in ‘Honest Thief’

Liam Neeson doesn’t steal much more than your time in ‘Honest Thief’

By the standards of Liam Neeson thrillers (and there are a lot from which to choose), “Honest Thief” is pretty weak tea, a passable, low-octane action movie that doesn’t do much more than steal one’s time. Like second-tier John Wayne westerns, Neeson offers enough of what his fans want, but a thin script and stilted dialogue make the battle harder than usual.

In “Taken,” its sequels and similarly themed fare since — a la “The Commuter” and “Cold Pursuit” — Neeson has carved out a niche as a likable guy who’s easy to root for and a very, very bad idea to cross. That’s essentially the formula here, although the template actually proves closer to something like “FX” — where the protagonist uses his specialized skills to fight the bad guys — than the most obvious comparisons to Neeson’s filmography.

Neeson plays Tom Carter, a former Marine who has cleaned out enough banks to earn the nickname the In and Out Bandit, and he’s introduced plying his trade. When he meets Annie (Kate Walsh), he decides to settle down and come clean, contacting the FBI and offering them a deal: A light sentence, near where she can visit him, in exchange for returning the stolen loot.

Still, an extended plea deal wouldn’t exactly meet the customary action requirements, so Carter is pretty quickly double-crossed by corrupt agents, forcing him to go on the run and defend himself. In pursuit are FBI agents harboring different objectives, the most prominent being Agent Meyers (Jeffrey Donovan), who spends his spare time cooing at his dog, and a pair of younger agents (Jai Courtney, Anthony Ramos) under his supervision.

Mostly, it’s an excuse for Neeson to say things like “I’m comin’ for you” as only he can, and eventually marshal his thieving/safecracking talents against those pursuing him. Unfortunately, both he and perhaps especially Walsh are saddled with a lot of bad dialogue (the film was written and directed by Mark Williams), in the latter case punctuated by her understandable surprise that the new man in her life is suddenly a fugitive.

Neeson has joked in recent years about getting a little long in the tooth to be running around in these sort of movies, but he remains plenty convincing in selling such a premise, even if it’s one this conspicuously slim. (As a footnote, Ramos’ wife in the movie is played by “Hamilton” co-star and real-life fiancée Jasmine Cephas Jones.)

To be fair, “Honest Thief” is honest about its intentions, providing a check-your-brain-at-the-door escape. Of course, the decision to enter the door to a theater in order to see something this marginal could be another matter.

“Honest Thief” premieres in theaters on Oct. 16. It’s rated PG-13.

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Elton John is getting his own Barbie doll

Elton John is getting his own Barbie doll

Elton John is getting his very own Barbie doll. And while the doll won’t look like the Rocket Man, it will be styled in his likeness.

The limited-edition Barbie doll, which was released on Mattel’s website on Thursday, will have a glittery top and flared denim complete with the singer’s initials.

Her multi-colored “Elton” bomber jacket has stars on its sleeves and rainbow stripes on its hem. She will also have rainbow-patterned platform boots, a purple bowler hat and Elton’s signature sparkly pink sunglasses.

“The Elton John Barbie doll is a bold collaboration that personifies two cultural icons and honors the extraordinary artistry and musicianship of a stellar performer,” the doll’s description on the Mattel website reads.

So, what’s the occasion?

The doll, which retails for $50, was released to mark the 45th anniversary of the singer’s record-breaking two-day performance at the Dodgers Stadium in October 1975.

At the time, the 100,000 attendees made it the largest concert ever for a single artist.

“Barbie is an icon in her own right, so having her pay tribute to my work and personal style is a real honor,” Elton John told Rolling Stone. “I hope that she inspires fans everywhere to fearlessly pursue their own dreams and limitless potential.”

The Elton John Barbie doll can be bought on the Mattel website or on Walmart’s online store.

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