There’s a moment in Retribution when harried hedge fund manager Matt Turner (Liam Neeson) experiences something of a baptismal rejuvenation. He recalls a flicker of happier times with his wife, Heather (Embeth Davidtz), in days before divorce became destiny. He remembers smiles from his children Zach (Jack Champion, Avatar: The Way of Water) and Emily (Lilly Aspell, Wonder Woman), who have generally turned sullen and withdrawn as Matt has dug deeper into his work. As his boss (Matthew Modine) says, Matt is “a credit to capitalism” as well as “an asshole.”

You’re probably not a bastion of quarter-billion Euro deals like Matt. Neither might you sympathize with Matt’s struggle of strapping his seatbelt only to take a phone call and learn that if he leaves the car, it will trigger an explosion that will end his, Zach and Emily’s lives. But you probably have people in your life for whom you care. With whom you enjoy spending time. Whom you’d like to remember you fondly. So, you can understand Matt’s resolution to change course, do something different and be a better person.

That could probably start with skipping Retribution, which avoids designation as this decade’s most risible installment of Neesploitation only because Memory shuffled in and out of release last year. “Only in theaters!” tout the advertisements for Retribution. At least you know how to avoid it.

The supposition here is someone whom Matt has financially wronged is behind the bomb scheme, which eventually ensnares Matt’s boss and his other partners (including one played by a vastly under-utilized Arian Moayed of Succession). What’s more obvious as this groan-worthy gaffe goes on is the hilarious idiocy of the villain’s endgame – which is ultimately contingent on confidential information only Matt knows even though said baddie has previously put Matt in the path of bullets and explosive shrapnel.

Perhaps the only smart thing in Retribution are the occasional scenes presented in German without subtitles. It’s indicative of how screenwriter Chris Salmonpour (adapting from the 2015 Spanish film El desconocido) understands such plots are a universal language and can practically be pantomimed – as they are here, with all the energy you’d expect from Neeson in a film where he’s sitting in a luxury Mercedes-Benz for 80 minutes.

More than 15 years after Taken, audiences can spot which Neeson films have initiated the self-driving feature. He’s been at it so long, in films sporting such generally generic titles, that one of them even pops up on a phone in Retribution. It’s tempting to feel intrigued by Retribution’s idea of making Matt predominantly powerless amid larger forces beyond his control or to glom onto Neeson’s glimpses of gravitas here, like playing nice to his wife’s divorce attorney or invoking muscle memory from days when his business phones had wired earpieces.

But if the options are, to quote the slogan of his ride’s make, the best or nothing … you can guess where Retribution lands. (As a plea for parole from movie jail for Hungarian filmmaker Nimród Antal, who threw a couple B-movie heaters with Vacancy and Armored before bungling Predators, well … better luck next time.) Retribution isn’t Speed. It’s just a bomb on a bust.