Mobster and hit man Jimmy Conlon has one night to figure out where his loyalties lie: with his estranged son, Mike, whose life is in danger, or his longtime best friend, mob boss Shawn Maguire.
Liam Neeson continues his run of hard hitting action flicks with Run All Night from director Jaume Collet-Serra and writer Brad Ingelsby. As a relatively new comer to feature film, Ingelsby has just a few projects to his name, including the screenplay for a western remake of 2011’s The Raid, which is a remake that doesn’t need to happen (but I digress).
Run All Night is perfectly serviceable in a story sense, it’s a grimy Neeson action film, and doesn’t strive to be anything more. The opening act holds together quite well however the script struggles to do anything particularly interesting or even unpredictable from the second act. Ultimately it doesn’t really matter as the audience is primarily there to see Liam Neeson taking out bad guys.
The film pitches the successful but reformed mobster leader against the haunted and retired enforcer, both with sons one of which is becoming increasingly involved in the criminal underworld, while the other seeks a life away from the criminal taint of his father. From there the pieces fall into place every bit as predictably as you might think. The lead characters have just enough depth to carry the plot and anyone else may as well be named Thugs 1 through 6, or Good Cops 1 and 2 etc.
With some innovative camera work the film utilises its city setting a little better than some of its peers, and the action, which is a key component in the film’s success is engaging and entertaining. Paced effectively the action is always impactful and gritty, from gun fights to chase scenes it delivers as the film’s most prominent strength.
Liam Neeson has a few of these types of films under his belt at this stage, and it’s hard to say how many more are coming (Taken had its third outing already), but the entertainment value of having him in this type of reluctant bad a** role is undeniable. Ed Harris turns in a performance that perfectly delivers on what’s required by the film, he just has a few character notes to work with, Joel Kinnaman is in much the same situation with anyone else being a one dimensional prop which the film surrounds.
With that said, Run All Night’s audience is unlikely to be there for complex storytelling or well developed characters, it’s Liam Neeson kicking butt and in that respect it’s a fun ride, just don’t turn up expecting anything more.
I’m giving it 6 out of 10 stars, Run All Night is in cinemas from 19th March 2015.