Liam Neeson is back in yet another action film. Having starred as a god, a talking lion, and a Jedi, the Irish actor has certainly made a name for himself within Hollywood, but over the last few years it has been his action flicks that have gained him most notice. Naturally this leads fans to expect a certain level of quality when it comes to his films, as though the past has dictated that not all will live up to this, there’s always hope that the next one will. Unfortunately, Run All Night isn’t that film, as despite being far from terrible, it fails to captivate.
Jimmy Conlon is a former hitman, but when the life of his estranged son, Mike, is threatened, he is forced to dust down these skills to save his life. After witnessing the son of Jimmy’s best friend, mob boss Sean Maguire, kill an Albanian drug dealer, he is forced to run for his life, with the blowback causing the lifelong friendship to break down beyond repair. Having the police and the mob chasing them down, Jimmy and Mike are forced to put their differences aside, with the battle for survival seeing them go to extreme lengths to stay alive.
The film definitely has an interesting premise, there’s no doubt about that, unfortunately the script that Brad Ingelsby wrote fails to deliver on the whole. Feeling a little long winded, and at times over complex, Run All Night doesn’t do itself any favours, as despite the action captivating, it is quickly drowned out by the general slow pace. The drama and suspense that director, Jaume Collet-Serra builds is on the other hand rather impressive, with the family driven plot, and action packed events being captured brilliantly by the camera. The fact that the director has worked with Neeson on Unknown and Non-Stop also helps bring some familiarity to fans, with it being evident that he know where to use the actor best.
The area in which this film excels the most has to be the acting, with Liam Neeson (Jimmy Conlon) once again giving a fantastic performance. Delivering a mixture of strength, focus and at times desperation, the veteran actor more than shows his worth, with the gritty way in which he delivers his lines capturing this viewers attention. Despite this, Neeson alone wasn’t enough to carry this film, as without RoboCop actor, Joel Kinnaman (Mike Conlon) to play off of, I doubt this film would remotely succeed in capturing my interest. The way in which Kinnaman shows Mike’s distaste towards his father, complemented by the way in which Neeson shows Jimmy’s desire to protect his son definitely impressed, with the chemistry being wonderful. Rounding off the main cast is fellow veteran, Ed Harris (Sean Maguire), with the Appaloosa and The Rock actor as ever bringing class to this film.
The way in which the film subtly focuses on Jimmy’s desire to keep Mike pure, more than captured my interest, with it showing that Jimmy possibly regrets how his profession kept him from being a proper father. This is also complemented by Mike’s inner struggle to himself remain law abiding, as with the mob, the cops and a hitman on their tales, there’s certainly a lot of temptation to kill. The film is also helped by the music that Junkie XL produced, as though it’s far from memorable, it managed to give a wonderful sense of suspense and drama, complimenting Collet-Serra’s direction wonderfully.
Run All Night is an entertaining action film, but one that viewers shouldn’t enter with high expectations. Having an interesting premise, and fast paced action, there’s a lot to keep viewers occupied. Unfortunately this is massively outweighed by the slow pace, with it being hard to follow at times. It’s this latter part that makes it hard to justify recommending this film, with it probably being one that should be viewed in the comfort of your own home upon Blu-ray/DVD release.