Run All Night (2015) Movie Review by Stephen McLaughlin

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writer: Brad Ingelsby
Stars: Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman

Mobster and hit man Jimmy Conlon (Neeson) has one night to figure out where his loyalties lie: with his estranged son, Mike (Kinnaman) whose life is in danger, or his longtime best friend, mob boss Shawn Maguire (Harris) who wants Mike to pay for the death of his own son.

You know something? “Run All Night” is a pretty decent attempt of an action thriller. You would be forgiven if you thought after the disappointing “Taken 3” that Liam Neeson’s career as an action hero was all but over but here he isn’t playing the hero in the way of Brian Mills. Neeson’s Jimmy Conlon is a damaged figure. His family have disowned him for years, he is a laughing stock within his circles as a waster and a drunk with a past reputation as a henchman for Shawn Maguire who appears to be the only friend or the only human being who gives Conlon a second thought.

Neeson plays this role so well as a broken man and it’s a nice slant on the character that breathes new life into the actors career and allows him to play a darker role than that of the Taken franchise. His interactions with the brilliant Harris are great and enjoyable to watch.

I’ve been a fan of Ed Harris since the 1990’s and his versatility as an actor holds no bounds. In fact, in “Run All Night” we see multiple versions of the same character. A straight laced business man with a murky past, a friend to a down an out (Conlon), a grieving father and a nasty villain all rolled into one film.

Kinnaman’s career is on the up and roles in Suicide Squad as Rick Flag and TV’s The Killing as Stephen Holder have held the actor in good stead and fits right in comfortably up against veteran actors as Neeson and Harris with ease. His character Mike has a deep hatred for his father Jimmy and is ashamed of him. The scenes early on with Kinnaman and Neeson are deliberately awkward and tense. Mike is a simple man who wants a simple life with his family and that all comes crumbling down upon him one night for being the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time (where have I heard that before?)

To be fair Director Jaume Collet-Serra’s style reminds me a lot like Pierre Morel. The pace is electric and the dialogue is interesting without being pretentious. His work with Director of Photography Martin Ruhe (Harry Brown) is stylish and i didn’t mind those little “Google Map” effects they threw in to give the audience an idea of the layout of the neighbourhood, zooming in and out of the area and dropping you in the next point of interest.

I shouldn’t be making the comparison but is “Run All Night” better than “Taken”? Not a chance. Is it better than “Taken 3” without a doubt. I’m glad I gave this movie a go and although it isn’t the best action / thriller I have watched this year, it isn’t bad either. I would recommend watching this as I found it enjoyable and interesting enough.

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