Wantonly violent, risibly plotted and ideologically suspect, this predictably bombastic Luc Besson production should be a thoroughly hateful piece of work.
So why is it a guilty pleasure par excellence? Probably because we can’t take Liam Neeson’s retired spy seriously as he shoots, stabs and electrocutes his way through Paris’ lowlife.
In search of his kidnapped daughter (Maggie Grace), Neeson treats Albanian hoods and Arabian potentates with the kind of snarling disgust that typifies the Dubya era. He’s like Bourne with a bus pass.
Helmed with vim by Pierre Morel (District 13), this is an absolute hoot whose visceral, no-holds-barred fight and torture scenes - here with additional mayhem cut from the ‘15’-rated cinema release - are brutal enough to make even Jack Bauer flinch.
The contrast between Neeson’s Irish reserve and Morel’s floppy-haired, Gallic cool is hammered home in ‘Le’ Making Of, in which the voice of Narnia’s Aslan smiles gently as he explains why it’s “good to fire guns and and drive cars really fast”.
A short doc on the movie’s French premiere and six shot-by-shot scene breakdowns round out the package.