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Scientifically Ranking Liam Neeson’s Deadliest Characters

This weekend Liam Neeson‘s The Commuter pulls into theaters, but before even seeing the movie we know a few things about it will be true: Liam Neeson is going to punch people in the face, he’s going to kill some others, and he’s going to save the day. Because that’s what Neeson does, and has since the first Taken was released in 2008. Sure, he played badasses before, like Priest Vallon in Gangs of New York and Peyton Westlake in Darkman, but Bryan Mills and his “particular set of skills” transformed him from an occasional action movie actor to a true action movie hero.

So to celebrate the latest entry to his killer resume, we’re ranking the relative deadliness of his ass-kicking characters from the last ten years as a top-notch action star. Needless to say, we’re using super scientific, non-disputable, definitely-not-arbitrary numbers so this list will be official and permanent. We also limited this to human characters (a.k.a. no Zeus), because Liam Neeson doesn’t need magical powers to ruin our shit.

5. Dr. Martin Harris (Unknown)

Job: “Doctor”/Secret International Assassin
Kill Count:

Training Level: 8/10
Lust to Kill: 2/10
Moral Code: 8/10
Drinking Problem:

How dangerous is a highly trained international assassin who is suffering from memory loss and doesn’t remember he was part of an elaborate plot to blow up a scientist who was going to cure world hunger? Still pretty dangerous, because it turns out even if you forget who you are you don’t forget your training and how to fight off attempts on your own life from other trained killers. But that’s also why Martin Harris doesn’t scare us all that much, because even when he does learn the truth about who he was, he chooses a new path towards being good. That’s reflected in his super low murder count, and our lack of worry about him murdering us.

4. Matt Scudder (A Walk Among the Tombstones)

Job: Ex-cop turned unlicensed private investigator
Kill Count: 4

Training Level: 6/10
Lust to Kill: 3/10
Moral Code: 5/10
Drinking Problem:

Recovering alcoholic Mark Scudder is initially reluctant to help a drug dealer find the men who killed and mutilated his wife, because he knows that will lead to more death. He only takes the job when the husband breaks down emotionally in front of him, because Scudder’s somewhat questionable moral code (he does take work from criminals as a P.I. ) is strong enough for him to try and stop crazed serial killers from striking again. But his skills as a detective are more fearsome than his desire to kill. He’s a smart investigator who’s not afraid of danger, and one who can definitely handle himself with his fists or a gun. But he only eliminates killers when he absolutely must. We don’t think he’d murder us unless he had to stop us from hurting someone else.

3. Bill Marks (Non-Stop)

Job: Ex-cop, Air marshal
Kill Count:

Training Level:
Lust to Kill: 2/10
Moral Code: 10/10
Drinking Problem:

We know air marshal is a high stress job, but you really shouldn’t drink while working, even if you still get scared during takeoff. But despite his issues, you would not want to mess around with Bill Marks. He’s highly trained and can snap a man’s neck in hand-to-hand combat in a tight space (which he only does when left with no other choice). He’s also capable of doing his job under the most high stress situation imaginable, although sometimes his anger and zest for his work makes him lose his cool a bit. We would definitely want him on our flight to keep us safe, but we doubt we’d survive if he thought we were a danger to everyone else.

2. Jimmy Conlon (Run All Night)

Job: Former mob enforcer/killer
Kill Count: 12

Training Level: 4/10
Lust to Kill: 10/10
Moral Code: 2/10
Drinking Problem:

Jimmy Conlon is one scuzzy, hard-drinking, murderous dude. He spends the whole movie trying to save his son’s life, fighting and killing his way through former associates, which only sort of makes up for a lifetime of being the world’s worst dad. Jimmy’s got a long list of bodies on him even before the movie starts, and during the film we see how he managed to survive so long as a killer for the mob: the guy can fight and will straight up murder anyone, even as he endures severe withdrawals during the night. We have no doubt he’d kill us if someone told him to do it for a bottle of cheap whiskey, and if they did we’d be so dead–unless he passed out first.

1. Bryan Mills (Taken)

Job: Retired CIA agent
Movie Kill Count:

Training Level: 10/10
Lust to Kill: 9/10
Moral Code: 8/10
Drinking Problem:

Lets consider the best action movie speech of all time, because nothing better illustrates why Bryan Mills is still the most fearsome Liam Neeson ever than just how much he backed up his claims.

“I don’t know who you are.”

But he will use his incredible, advanced covert CIA training to figure it out, no matter where in the world you are or how protected you think you might be.

“I don’t know what you want.”

Better hope it has nothing to do with his family, or you are already dead and you simply don’t know it.

“If you are looking for ransom I can tell you I don’t have money…”

Doesn’t need or want it. He’s a good, simple man with simple desires.

“..but what I do have are a very particular set of skills.”

All the skills. Seriously, all of them. We didn’t even know there were that many skills.

“Skills I have acquired over a very long career.”

There is nothing you can throw at him he hasn’t seen before.

“Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.”

This is technically an understatement.

“If you let my daughter go now that’ll be the end of it.”

He’s a trained killer who will do what must be done, but the man has a code. He’s out here killing because he must, not because he wants to.

“I will not look for you, I will not pursue you, but if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you and I will kill you.”

And everyone who works for you. Lock it down.

That’s why even after ten years of being a true action movie hero, Bryan Mills is still the Neeson we fear the most. He doesn’t need luck to do it, because he has a particular set of skills that makes him more dangerous than everyone else.

But what do you think? Did we get our rankings right? Tell us in the comments below which Neeson scares you the most.

Featured Image: 20th Century Fox

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