Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Stars: Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman, Boyd Holbrook, Vincent D’Onofrio
An old-time hitman Jimmy (Neeson) has nothing left in the world apart from guilt and regrets, but a turbulent turn of events leads his estranged son to be under suspicion for murder. In an attempt to do right by his family Jimmy runs all night in an effort to protect his son and make up for some of the mistakes he made during his life.
Liam Neeson has done a lot of actions films after Taken. Some have been rehashes of the film but others have had some depth, like last year’s A Walk Among the Tombstones. Run All Night is definitely in that vein. At the beginning Neeson isn’t the hardened badass we’ve come to know and love, instead he’s a drunk no-hoper that’s kept around as little more than a mascot. It somewhat mirrors the journey of William Munney in Unforgiven, although is nowhere near as poetic or powerful. Sadly the flaw with Run All Night is that Jimmy is shown to be such a loser that the turnaround to badass is somewhat jarring and comes more as a result of needs of the plot.
But I like the commentary on father-son relationships and Kinnaman gives a solid supporting performance. I got a kick out of seeing them trying to survive together. The friendship between Jimmy and Shawn (Harris) is great as well, and the two actors give a great deal of pathos in their interactions. It’s not a film that’s given to overt, haughty melodrama, instead the revelations are blunt and unwieldy, but they fit perfectly into the world that Serra presents.
Speaking of Serra, he gave the film some stylistic touches which help to elevate it from standard action fare. The sweeping city shots were sometimes astounding and there were some amazing action sequences, the apartment block being a particular standout.
I was impressed with Run All Night and highly recommend it.