Nimrod Antal’s Retribution (2023) is the third adaptation of the 2015 Spanish action-thriller El Desconocido. Retribution stars Liam Neeson as the unyielding investment banker Matt Turner. Matt’s life takes an unexpected and tumultuous turn as the story progresses. The film maintains a thriller atmosphere throughout its runtime, but the twists become increasingly predictable after a while.
Retribution (2023) Plot Summary and Movie Synopsis:
Retribution begins with the death of Pils Groger, CEO of Nanite Capital, as his car explodes. Later, we are introduced to Matt Turner and his partner from Nanite Capital, Anders Muller. Anders requests Matt to speak with Karl at STB Capital, who is thinking about withdrawing his funds from the market. As a stock market dealer, Matt is responsible for assuring Karl that he will receive returns, thereby retaining his investment.
Matt doesn’t spend much time with his family, and he even becomes annoyed when his children make a lot of noise. However, Heather – Matt’s wife – has some work to do, so she asks Matt to drop Emily and Zach off at school. Initially irritated, Matt eventually agrees to take them. There is a brief disagreement with his son Zach, who initially refuses to accompany Matt. However, Zach eventually gets into the car after some persuasion and pleading.
How Things Turn After the Mysterious Call?
Matt resolves the situation with Karl by manipulating him with a lecture on how taking risks in life can help one surpass their limitations. Karl eventually agrees to continue investing, even though he has suffered almost a 17% loss. Matt is an adept communicator, but Zach knows that his father is lying in broad daylight in front of his children.
After some time, a phone rings inside the car. Matt initially thinks it might be Zach’s or Emily’s, but it’s not. The ringing is coming from the front, right beside Matt. Eventually, Matt discovers an old smartphone inside his car. He answers the call, and a distorted voice informs him that if he doesn’t comply with their demands, he will trigger the bomb placed under his seat.
The voice warns that if he attempts to exit the car, the bomb will activate since it is connected to a pressure plate. Even Zach and Emily cannot leave until the task is completed. Initially, Matt is skeptical about the voice’s threats until he reaches under his seat and confirms the presence of an actual bomb.
He even takes some pictures with his phone to better understand the device. He realizes that a mobile device is connected to the bomb as a fail-safe option. Matt understands that if he can somehow jam the signals, he might buy some time to contemplate how to escape this dire situation.
What Does The Voice Demand?
As the voice mentions that Matt is being watched, he glances behind and notices a motorcycle tailing them. Matt hits his brakes, only to discover that the biker is Zach’s girlfriend, Mila, who is simply following them to meet with Zach. Nonetheless, Matt comprehends that he cannot confront the unseen threat and must comply with the instructions. He proceeds to meet Sylvain, one of his business partners, who is in a similar situation.
Inside Sylvain’s car, there is a frantic woman, and Matt instructs Sylvain to calm her down. Amidst this situation, a police officer arrives and senses that something is amiss. He requests Sylvain to step out of the car, unaware of the pressure-sensitive plates or the bomb. However, the woman panics and exits the car. The bomb self-triggers and detonates, causing the deaths of Sylvain and two others right before Matt’s eyes.
Matt now firmly believes that the voice has no regard for human lives and will stop at nothing to achieve its objectives. As Matt’s next task is assigned, he needs to call Heather. A security deposit is in Matt’s name at AIG Bank in Tiergarten. The voice instructs Heather to retrieve it and deliver it to Matt. Initially, Matt assumes that the voice is orchestrating all of this for money.
However, when Heather finally exits the bank, she is directed to leave the contents of the box in front of a man rather than delivering them directly to Matt. Shortly after Heather places the items, the police arrive at the location and arrest both Heather and the man.
Matt flees the scene and realizes that the voice intends to frame him for everything. It deliberately alerts the police, as his car was already observed at the site of Sylvain’s car explosion. The voice aims to make Matt a fugitive, although the exact reason remains unknown to him.
Is the Voice successful in Killing Anders?
Soon, the voice informs Matt about his and Anders’ slush fund in Dubai, where they keep 208 Million Euros as collateral money. Later, the voice compels Matt to meet with Anders, and when he meets him, he discovers that Anders is in the same predicament as him. Matt is forced to ask Anders to transfer the 208 Million euros into his bank account. At this point, Anders believes that Matt is responsible for everything and that he is eliminating all the partners for the money.
Immediately after the money is transferred, the voice instructs Matt to open the glove compartment, and he finds a gun there. Matt is now told to shoot his best friend, Anders, in front of his children. As he stands on the verge of pulling the trigger, Emily and Zach start screaming at Matt, telling him that he must not kill his friend. Matt finally tosses the revolver away, telling the voice that he cannot do it. A train passes between the two cars, and right after that, Anders’ car explodes. The aftereffects of the explosion leave Emily injured in one leg.
Does Matt Surrender to the Police?
Right before the Anders incident takes place, Angela Brickmann calls Matt after Heather is caught. Matt tries to explain everything to her, but it is very hard for the police to trust a fugitive. After a while, Matt finds himself surrounded by police, and Angela, seeing Heather in such a woeful condition, goes to talk to Matt. Previously, Matt has asked her to jam the mobile network so that he can find a way out of this mess. Angela has done that, and the voice is unable to reach Matt as of now.
Angela finds out about the bomb under Matt’s seat; however, Zach and Emily are safe. They are taken for medical attention. Angela tells Matt that since all the bank accounts of the Nanite Capital are seized, it is impossible for anyone to transfer 208 Million Euros without leaving a trace. So, she is certain that once they recover Matt from this situation, the original criminal will be caught. However, Matt tells her that he is asked to transfer the money in crypto. So, there is almost no chance to get the mastermind.
Retribution (2023) Movie Ending Explained:
What Unfolds when Matt finally Encounters the Man behind the Voice?
Matt now understands that if he doesn’t stand up for himself, the police will fail to catch the culprit. He indirectly asks for Angela’s help and again runs away from the police. The network is finally available, and now Matt dominates the conversation. He asks the voice to meet face to face, or he will not transfer the money. The voice threatens to trigger the bomb, but Matt says to do it as he has nothing to lose.
The voice finally agrees to meet, and surprisingly, it is Anders. He has faked his death. How? He took advantage of the train that went past between their cars. He goes out and then blasts the empty car. Now, why? Since the market has been failing for a long period, it is inevitable that someday, the management of Nanite Capital will be placed behind bars. Even their CEO, Pils Groger, decides to run away before anything comes out.
So, Anders thinks about his escape plan, and for that, he requires three things. First, he needs to clear the trails that can lead to him, which means removing the partners of the company. So, one by one, he kills everyone apart from Matt. He even kills himself, which is the second crucial point of his plan.
If anything comes out in the future, no one can arrest a dead person. He even plans to do plastic surgery once he gets the 208 Million Euros. The third plan is to blame everything on Matt so that he can force him to transfer all the money. He executed all the plans very carefully, and it was almost perfect.
But, here stands our anti-hero, Matt, a man whom a friend betrays, who lost his reputation and is almost on the verge of losing his family. Anders’ plans don’t involve the fail-safe option like his bombs. He doesn’t know how to tackle a man with nothing to lose. Matt has never been a person who devoted his time to his family, but when it comes to losing a family, a man can go to any extent to save them.
Matt decides to crash the car without knowing what will happen next. But luck is finally on his side as he sees a chance to escape from the car without being killed in the blast. He takes a leap of faith. As the car hangs sideways right over a lake, Matt loses his belt and exits the vehicle. The bomb under his seat triggers, and the car explodes while Ander is still inside. Matt ends up in the water, swims across, and exchanges a glance with Angela. The police now know Matt is innocent, as Anders is truly dead this time round.