Paul Davis: Liam’s got a gun

Actor Liam Neeson and I have something in common besides our age. We are both unimpressed with ABC’s “The View” — but for entirely different reasons.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Neeson stated he was unimpressed with the show and was uncomfortable during his appearance. He was embarrassed by the co-hosts gushing about being near him on stage, and by Joy Behar professing her crush on him. Behar stated that after she died, she wanted her ashes spread all over the actor, a rather peculiar romantic notion, if you ask me.

Neeson would have much preferred to discuss gun violence in America, which was the subject of the segment on the talk show while the actor was off-stage, waiting for his cue. Gun control is a subject that Neeson is most interested in.

I’m unimpressed with “The View” as the TV program features two women, Whoopi Goldberg and Joy (more like joyless) Behar, who are woefully ignorant of history, civics and political philosophy, and have but a cursory knowledge of current events. 

Jim Geraghty, National Review’s senior correspondent, posted a tweet a while back in which he stated, “‘The View’ is a show about current events, hosted by several celebrities who don’t know much about current events, and who adamantly refuse to learn anything new about current events.”

Goldberg once suggested that President Biden appoint his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, as the Surgeon General of the United States, despite the fact that she has a Ed.D. in education and is certainly not a medical doctor. And Behar stated on “The View” that American gun laws will change “once black people get guns in this country.” Of course, many black people already own guns, so this comment illustrates how clueless she truly is. 

Goldberg and Behar are quite grim and angry, which is surprising, considering they are comedians. I don’t often watch the TV gabfest, but a woman I know who watches the program regularly told me she has rarely heard either of the two comedians tell a joke or relate an amusing or clever anecdote. 

With all of the educated, accomplished and clever women of all political persuasions in the world, why are Goldberg and Behar highly paid TV commentators?

Poor Liam Neeson was disappointed that he could not discuss gun control on “The View.” The Irish actor, who became an American citizen, is a serious gun control advocate, telling a British newspaper in 2014, “I am totally for gun control in the US. The population of America is roughly 300 million and there are 300 million guns in this country, which is terrifying.” 

Yet in nearly every film he has made since “Taken” in 2008, he’s toting a gun and shooting bad guys. In “Taken,” his character makes a much-quoted speech: “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. 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.”

As he does: with a gun. 

Neeson was on “The View” promoting his new film “Marlowe.” In the film, he portrays the late, great crime novelist Raymond Chandler’s iconic character, private detective Philip Marlowe. 

Marlowe, of course, carries a gun. 

The new film is not to be confused with 1969’s “Marlowe,” which starred the late James Garner as Marlowe and was based on Raymond Chandler’s great crime novel, “The Little Sister.” The film is a favorite of mine, and James Garner is my favorite film Marlowe. He was big, handsome and smoked a pipe like Marlowe in the novels. He was also very good at “cracking wise” like Chandler’s Marlowe.

Liam Neeson is no James Garner, in my view, nor is he as good an actor as Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum, Powers Booth, or any of the other fine actors who have portrayed Marlowe in the past.

The New “Marlowe” film is based on the 2014 novel “The Black-Eyed Blonde” by British author John Banville, using the pen name Benjamin Black. I haven’t read the book, and I don’t think I will, as I don’t think Banville can measure up to Chandler, one of my favorite writers. 

But I’ll probably watch the film, and my poor wife will have to listen to my running commentary throughout.

Especially when gun control advocate Neeson pulls out his trusty movie gun to save the day.

Paul Davis is a Philadelphia writer who covers crime.

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