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Liam Neeson's 100th Film is...

Liam Neeson is an instantly recognisable Hollywood star who's now wrapped his 100th film. At the age of 70, the actor's not showing any signs of slowing down, continuing his prowess as an action-star-in-later-life. Having turned in a career-defining performance in Taken in 2008, the actor is at least partly responsible for a subgenre involving actors turning to action late into their careers.

While many have tried, Neeson has been the frontrunner and continues to rack up film roles that have been written with him in mind. Leaning on Charles Bronson's legacy, this action renaissance has taken the Irishman through a gauntlet of crime thrillers. Surprisingly, it was 3 years before it really kicked off after Taken's success, starting with Unknown before going more poetic by re-teaming with The A-Team director Joe Carnahan for The Grey.

Liam Neeson's 100th Film is... Marlowe

Perhaps it was Taken 2 that signaled Neeson was really game and open to a rinse-and-repeat of Luc Besson's influential first instalment. While it seems that Neeson is only ever doing the same role, he's actually had much more variety than you'd think, often lending his voice to productions and keeping a foot in the door of arthouse films. However, his steady slew of action thrillers has become his bread and butter, finding Neeson in a variety of situations where he has to take charge and ultimately save the day.

After Taken 2 he starred in airplane thriller Non-Stop and dark crime thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones before reinvigorating the Bryan Mills identity in a third Taken movie. Three Taken movies takes it up to a trilogy, which seems like a good place to tie things up, but that didn't stop the actor from signing on for more Taken-esque roles. Run All Night was his next outing, hot on the heels of the trilogy round-up.

He then took a break, reclaiming his Schindler's List prestige with a Scorsese film in Silence, following it up with another fine performance in Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House. Having given everyone a healthy reminder of his abilities outside of the action thriller arena, he airdropped back in with a companion to Non-Stop with The Commuter before winding up in the snow with Cold Pursuit.

It's like Neeson's formula was to shoot two intense action thrillers and then buffer with two more contemplative films, adding the tender dramas Ordinary Love and Made in Italy. However, as charming and relatable as he is in the slower films, there's no beating his star quality as an enforcer. Possibly motivated by the fact that he was approaching 70, Neeson has gone all out with the action thrillers in recent years, diving headlong into the deep end with Honest Thief, The Marksman, The Ice Road, Blacklight and Memory.

Having starred in well over 10 similar action thriller vehicles about characters who are forced to leverage their specialised and lethal skill set, there's a definite sense of the familiar. Much like Jason Statham, both actors have developed a brand identity and episodic quality that lets you know what to expect. You may not be overly surprised by what new challenges they have to face but the comfortable predictability and star power is enough to compel audiences without having to reinvent the wheel.

Any actor in Liam Neeson's position would probably do the same, taking on the odd film role to stay relevant as a dramatic actor but taking up opportunities that land in your lap. Having a gruff voice and naturally determined disposition, you can't imagine these action thrillers are too taxing on Neeson's talents and do play to his strengths. Rattling the cage every couple of years will find a receptive audience who have come to trust his expertise in this kind of role. However, five action thrillers on the trot over two years does seem like a bit of a push.

That's why it's refreshing to find Neeson taking on the role of a gumshoe in the Neil Jordan film, Marlowe, his 100th film. Playing Raymond Chandler's iconic film noir character, Philip Marlowe, Neeson brings his mix of talents to the world-weary private detective who takes on a seemingly open-and-shut case for a legendary Hollywood actress that draws him into a web of deception in Los Angeles. Written by William Monahan of The Departed fame, this brooding crime drama thriller is a good fit for Neeson who chalks up his 100th film. An incredible achievement, this neo-noir is based on the book 'The Black-Eyed Blonde' and finds him playing opposite Jessica Lange and Unknown co-star Diane Kruger.