An Ecstasy of Plot Contrivances: Honest Thief (2020)

honest1Honest Tom Dolan (Liam Neeson) has a secret life as a notorious bank robber (“the In and Out Bandit”) who through the love a good woman (Annie Wilkins, played by Kate Walsh) decides to do the right thing by Annie, assuage his conscience and turn himself in. Two FBI Agents who think he’s a fruitcake aren’t convinced, so Tom hands them the keys to his storage where he tells them they will find boxes of money from his robberies. They don’t take Tom with them, so that they could arrest him upon finding the ‘proof’ of Tom’s story, or if there is no money and Tom’s proven a hoaxer then charge him with wasting their time, BECAUSE. 

Well, because they are going to steal the money for themselves.

Later, having been double-crossed by the two FBI agents who have subsequently framed him for the murder of another, Tom gets Annie on a Greyhound bus to get her to safety out of town. He sees her get on the bus but walks away before it drives off, BECAUSE.

Well, because Annie is going to get off the bus and go back to her storage locker business as she’s remembered CCTV footage of the FBI agents stealing away with Tom’s money will be on a memory stick there. While she’s there the two FBI agents, looking for the same memory stick to destroy proof of their guilt, find her and the chief bad ‘un, Agent Nivens (Jai Courtney) beats her within an inch of her life, but runs away without completing the deed BECAUSE.

Well, because Tom has to be a hero and get her to hospital before she bleeds out or something. And then he has to get her out of said hospital BECAUSE.

Well, because she’s obviously still in danger from the bad agents who still have to silence her, so she’s got to be rescued from the hospital by Tom, who is on his own vengeance trip at this point (because its a Liam Neeson movie and vengeance is written into every script by contract). Agent Nivens goes to the hospital to finish her off but finds a good FBI agent in Annie’s room, protecting her, and he storms off, snarling (we know the good FBI agent is a good guy because he’s got a cute dog and every dog-owner’s a Good Guy). Hospital security isn’t a thing though, so when Tom arrives a little later he walks straight in, finds her room with his bank-robber’s sixth sense* and luckily Annie is in there no longer under guard BECAUSE. 

Well, because the good FBI agent has to go and walk his dog because Tom has to save her, silly, so he simply walks out of there with her and puts her in a bed in a nearby hotel and she heals pretty quick BECAUSE. 

Well, because she ‘s the love interest and the film isn’t over yet, so she’s up and about by morning, having a) been miraculously healed by Tom’s nursing and b) watched Tom fabricate some bombs as part of his revenge for being wronged by the dastardly Feds and its all something to do with his military service and his dad who died while rich guys got richer which is why he robbed the banks in the first place, because that where the rich guy’s money was being kept and…

Tom is some kind of Bank-Robbing Rambo (movies are proof that military service really sets people up for civilian life) and he knows where Agent Niven lives so wires it up with bombs whilst Niven is sleeping and… he lets Niven get out before blowing the shit out of his big house (in which thankfully no-else was living BECAUSE well that would make Honest Tom a murderer) and none of the neighbours comes out to witness the conflagration BECAUSE.

Well, because its a pretty bad and obvious CGI shot and the house is really just fine it never blew up and I’ve just broken the fourth wall here. 

Ah its a Liam Neeson film. Do these things even have fourth walls anymore?

*Bank robber’s sixth sense allows for said robber to guess the exact colour and shade of paint inside the abandoned retail outlets next door to his bank targets, so that after he has robbed the bank by tunnelling from the retail outlets he can redecorate said retail outlets so no-one would ever guess how he got in and out of the bank BECAUSE.

Well, because he’s the “In and Out Bandit” who was never caught until he gave himself in for the love a good woman. 

Honest Thief, should you hate yourself enough that you want to watch it, is currently showing on Amazon Prime.

2 thoughts on “An Ecstasy of Plot Contrivances: Honest Thief (2020)

  1. Pingback: Columbia Noir: The Dark Past (1948) – the ghost of 82

  2. Pingback: The 2021 List: May – the ghost of 82

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