31 October 1999 | James B.
Liam Neeson is a raging bull.
I liked this film a lot. It is about a working-class family in a town in Scotland, with the father (Liam Neeson) and mother (Whalley-Kilmer) at odds. At issue is Neeson's desire to earn for his family, in a more lucrative measure than he did during the dozen years he spent as a miner.
When Neeson receives an offer to get back into the ring for a bare-knuckles fight in Glasgow, he accepts - for the money, he says, though there are intimations that fighting is more than a job for him. The fight has been organized by two local shady characters, and the organized crime element looms large in the film. The resulting conflicts envelop Neeson, his family and friends, and his community.
There is a lot of talent at work in "The Big Man" (also called "Crossing the Line"), including excellent music by the legendary Ennio Morricone. Hugh Grant has a cameo doing a passable Scottish accent. Neeson is, of course, a world-class actor, and anything he is in is worthwhile seeing.
The production feels like a labor of love for all concerned, and the results show. The fight scene is not for the faint of heart.