Run All Night Review
Jaume Collet-Serra & Liam Neeson team up for the third time for ‘Run All Night’, an crime thriller that is easily their best combined effort to date. Neeson stars as a mob hitman Jimmy Conlon, who after years of dirty work is a drunk, alone and haunted by his actions. After his son Mike Conlon (Joel Kinnaman) gets caught up in a drug deal gone wrong, Jimmy has to intervene to save his life. In saving his life, Jimmy kills the son of his friend Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris), who also happens to the be the boss of the mob he works for. As the night unfolds Jimmy must prevent Shawn from seeking redemption and keep himself and his son alive.
One of the most pleasing things about watching this film is the solid cast, and seeing Liam Neeson playing a character with a bit of depth, just to remind us how good an actor he can be. Even if his flaws are short lived in the film, its refreshing to see him tackling different traits than the ever professional Bryan Mills character in the Taken sequels. Neeson aside, Ed Harris plays mob boss very well and is somebody who can always adds a bit of gravitas to any film in which he stars. Joel Kinnaman is one of the brightest prospects for modern film and thankfully he is given a bigger platform to perform here than his stint in ‘Safe House’.
Despite the strong cast who are all on point in the film, the best character is by far the setting. Taking place on the streets of New York City, the tight turns and narrow alleys provide a great claustrophobia inducing setting for its action set pieces. It generates a vibe similar to the 1979 film ‘The Warriors’, just not as grimy or rough. The location of where a film is set is just as imperative as getting the cast and story correct, and often times is easily overlooked in films. I honestly feel that if this film was set in some Midwestern town or L.A. than it would have not been as affective in its action.
‘Run All Night’ is going to be easy to overlook as it comes on the heels of the dreadful ‘Taken 3’ and is the latest in a recent surge of action thrillers starring Liam Neeson. The unfortunate thing in this instance is that it is one of the more enjoyable and better executed films he has starred in of late. If this is a sign that Collet-Serra and Neeson have hit a stride in the collaborations, then it makes any future film together an exciting prospect. Catch this film if you can, its an enjoyable romp.