Monday, April 19, 2010
Liam Neeson. The man you may now see in theaters as Zues (his immortality in this is ironic considering the rest of this article) in the newest version of 'Clash of the Titans'. Not necessarily the biggest name in Hollywood. I mean, he's no Brangelina. Whenever I bring his name up in a conversation with my friends, one out of three (ok, I only have three friends. so what?) won't know who he is. I usually have to name a few movies he is in before they can put a face to the name. Despite this, he is one of my favorite actors. In his youth he had small roles in great movies like "The Mission" and "The Bounty". He also starred in the groundbreaking Spielberg Holocaust movie, "Schindler's List" as Oskar Schindler himself. He played Jean Valjean in a great rendition of 'Les Miserables', with a performance that is sure to move you. But I digress. For the true matter that is at hand is that of his mortality. Sure, we all have to die...once. Mr. Neeson has died an unusual amount of 14 times in film. To make matters worse, he is always very likable. He always plays the mentor, the father-figure of the film. The one who bestows his knowledge on our hero. But then, just as we have accepted him and opened our hearts to him, he is 'Taken'(a little actor humor) from us. We don't know if we can ever trust again. The man is addicted to watching himself die. Here are five ideal examples:
THIS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!!
Gangs of New York
A great Scorsese masterpiece. The opening fight scene is one for the books. It is a battle between the rival gangs of that of Daniel Day-Lewis aka The Butcher and Liam Neeson's aka Priest. As Liam Neeson gives wisdom to his son (soon to grow up into Leonardo DiCaprio) he then gives him a final speech before going and dying in battle. Neeson's death becomes the driving force behind the whole movie. And his final words to his son are uttered again and again. "The blood stays on the blade"
Kingdom of Heaven
Lets face it. Orlando Bloom strikes everybody as a sissy. Even with a character as cool as Legolas he was hardly able to step out of his sissyness for it. In 'Troy' Orlando showed us his true colors by causing a whole war just for being a pansy. Yet this post is not about him or his girliness. In 'Kingdom of Heaven', Orlando is living in Europe during the Crusades. He is trying his hardest to be cool by killing someone for beheading his dead wife (amazingly not her cause of death) but still comes off looking like a little biatch. Then riding in comes Baron Godfrey (Liam Neeson) and reveals that he is Orlando's father. Immediately Orlando's cool points go up a few notches. Then a lot of stuff happens which i don't have time to get into. Fast forward to a scene in the woods where Godfrey and his badass knights (although one of them has pigtails. Badass nonetheless) have to defend Orlando from the big bad soldiers coming to arrest him (Orlando is probably in the fetal position pissing himself and wishing he was on the set of 'Pirates'). Godfrey becomes mortally wounded defending his son and then precedes to give one of the best knighting speeches ever given.
"Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong. That is your oath. (SLAPS ORLANDO IN THE FACE) And that's so you remember it. Arise a knight and Baron of Ibelin."
Then he dies. And magically, after being knighted by the coolest mentor figure ever, Orlando goes on to not be as much of a girl as he usually is.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Ok, so here Neeson is played by CGI. He voices Aslan, C.S. Lewis' analogy for The Almighty. He is feared in all the land, everyone stands in awe of his every word/roar, and yes, he dies. He is resurrected, but he still dies. And everyone has to go through the grieving that comes with seeing one of the most beloved characters of all time (voice by one of the most beloved film father-figures of all time) for a few minutes before these news are given to us of his resurrection. By this point it is too late. We are already crying and pretending a piece of dust got in our eye (who cries at a kids move for crying out loud!).
Star Wars: Episode 1
Ah the ultimate mentorship. A Jedi Master and his padawan. He mentors Obi-Wan Kenobi and partially Anakin Skywalker, two of the most pivotal characters of the whole series, and he doesn't even make it past one film. After showing you how cool he looks with long hair and a beard, and how he showed amazing patience and restraint by never melting Jar-Jar Binks' face with his lightsaber after sharing more than a minutes' screentime with him, he goes and dies. This was supposed to be the happy film where Darth Vader doesn't exist yet. Nope, bust out the Kleenex, because Neeson is dead again.
Still doubting his awesomeness? He also effing trained Batman. Trained him. There would be no Heath Ledger Joker or his sympathy Oscar if it was not for this man. Batman would have not just ceased to be, but never would have been in the first place. Bruce Wayne would have died in that prison where those chinese men kept trying to kill him for no reason (plus let's face it, Christian Bale is one handsome man. He wouldn't have lasted much longer in those showers without having to become someone's property). And how does the ol' Dark Knight repay him? By blowing him up in a friggin train (we told you Christian Bale had a temper...)
Mr. Neeson, please stop playing with our heartstrings. We can't bear to watch you die anymore.
A concerned fan
Oh, and he is cast as Honest Abe in the upcoming Lincoln movie by Spielberg. Let's hope he lives through that one...
Other mentionable deaths by Liam:
Seraphim Falls (a surprisingly great western with Pierce Bronsman)