If it's January, it must be time for Liam Neeson to start kicking butt.
The 59-year-old actor has found himself in an unlikely position - the world-weary action hero. It started with the blistering thriller 'Taken' and continued with the far less effective 'Unknown.' Both films hit theaters in January, a relatively soft spot in the movie release schedule.
The Hollywood suits hope Jan. 2012 will find audiences eager for more Neeson mayhem. His upcoming thriller 'The Grey' doesn't include sleazy slave traders or mistaken identities. Instead, it's Neeson vs. Nature, a grudge match just right for the coldest days of the calendar year.
The Irish actor has slipped into the same spot Harrison Ford assumed during his 50s. He's an older man, but someone not to be messed with. Neeson plays both a convincing victim as well as a counter puncher of consequence. He doesn't want to fight, but he will if pushed. And how.