“Run All Night” movie review

By Jeff Boudreaux


Run all night

Liam Neeson re-teams with the director of “Unknown” and “Non-Stop” for this action thriller co-starring Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman, and Common. No pun intended, but what we have been served here is not all that uncommon, although I wouldn’t go as far as to call it formulaic. While the plot does read on the surface like it’s a cross between “Taken” and “John Wick,” director Jaume Collet-Serra does manage to have a few tricks up his sleeves.

“Run All Night” initially starts out as a tale of two mob offspring. Jimmy Conlan (Neeson) is the longtime trigger-man and best friend of crime boss Shawn Maguire (Harris), whose hot-headed son Danny (Boyd Holbrook) is getting involved in some unscrupulous business deals. Conlan’s estranged son Mike (Joel Kinnaman of “Robocop”) tries to distance himself from this mob lifestyle by mentoring young boxers in the gym and driving a limo at night. Unfortunately for him, his latest clients are Albanian drug pushers who are pretty much trying to force Danny into buying their product. Since daddy wouldn’t give him the money or the green light for such a transaction, the only natural thing for Danny to do is kill the Albanians, and then set his sights on Mike, who was in the wrong place at the extremely wrong time.

Mike is as good as dead, when suddenly Jimmy shows up and is forced to take out Danny. As you could imagine, this news doesn’t go over very well with Shawn, even though he knows his son probably had it coming. Even Mike, whose life was just saved by his own father, isn’t thrilled to be anywhere near a man that has made his living by killing people. This is why Jimmy has never met his daughter-in-law Gabriela (Genesis Rodriguez) or his three grandchildren. Nevertheless, after Shawn places a contract on Mike (not exactly sure why Mike and not Jimmy), his father must use his deadly skills to protect his son at all costs from corrupt police and a lethal hitman named Andrew Price (Common).run_all_night_ver6

One of the things that I admire about this film is that the action takes place all within 12 hours. Liam Neeson, while a badass as usual, shows us another layer of depth to the role of Jimmy Conlan, not unlike his turn in “A Walk among the Tombstones.” Regardless, much like the old saying asking why nobody in a zombie movie has ever heard of a zombie, can’t these characters get it through their heads that they’re messing with Liam Neeson! It’s not going to end up good, trust me. Also featured in the supporting cast is Vincent D’Onofrio as Detective Harding, one of the few cops in Brooklyn not on Maguire’s payroll. Even though Detective Harding is aware of Jimmy Conlan’s past, there is a mutual respect between the two men that isn’t often seen in films of this type.

Director Collet-Serra (House of Wax, Orphan) also manages to get in a couple of stylishly shot scenes with some help from cinematographer Martin Ruhe (The American). Featuring a score by Junkie XL, “Run All Night” suggests that the team of Neeson and Collet-Serra surely isn’t the worst thing that has happened to Hollywood lately, as their other two films didn’t exactly stink up theaters either. Unfortunately for them, however, the film will suffer at the box office due to competition from much better films like “Cinderella.” So I guess you could say, just like Mike Conlan, “Run All Night” just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

**1/2 (two and a half out of four stars)


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