All Nighter (2017) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier

All Nighter

Director: Gavin Wiesen
Writer: Seth W. Owen (as Seth Owen)
Stars: Analeigh Tipton, Emile Hirsch, J.K. Simmons 

Plot:  A workaholic father who attempts to visit his daughter during a layover in LA, only to discover that she’s disappeared, is forced to team up with her awkward ex-boyfriend to find her over the course of one transformative night.

Running Time: 86 Minutes

IMDB Score:  5.7

Why I Watched It: Every 20 movies or so I like throwing in a comedy as a change of pace, just to give the genre films a rest, it’s good to watch something out of your wheelhouse from time to time and JK Simmons.

Random Thoughts: J.K Simmons is a very good character actor, in fact he’s just a really good actor but let’s be honest he’s not a leading man in Hollywood but he won an Oscar for Supporting Actor and he got to trade on that to get different roles and All Nighter is not only a lead role but a comedy as well.  It’s a complete against type casting but good for him.

What I Liked: J.K Simmons not surprisingly is the best part of this movie, he’s a presence and he also as that rare talent to be likeable but also a little scary, not really sure what’s going on behind his eyes, heck he could hug you or kill you and neither would be a surprise.  He gets to be a bad ass here, he gets to be the lead and he does well on both counts.  Oddly Emile Hirsch is a pretty good partner for him they play off each other very well and you kind of believe the relationship they form.

I will say the trailer and the plot description is a bit of a shaggy dog not really what it’s about,  also it’s more of a comedy drama than an action comedy, the trailers make it seem like that and it’s not.  Oddly most of the humour comes from secondary characters, Simmons and Hirsch aren’t funny and oddly they’re not trying to be. It’s a light and breezy film, it moves well it’s under 90 minutes and it’s mostly a sweet or at least likeable film.

What I Didn’t Like: All Nighter is an odd film, the tone and plot are just off a bit.  I really have no idea why they had the Hirsch and Tipton break up after the opening, him helping her dad find out about her just makes the film seem tonally off, cause she’s with someone else and then the film is more about Simmons and Hirsch becoming friends and that really seems like a reach.  For my money the film should have been about Simmons and him trying to reconnect with his daughter.  Simmons has a very good moment when he tells Hirsch why he was so frantic to see his daughter and that moment is good and it feels real but it doesn’t fit with the rest of the film.

The film is very slight and what’s funny about that is that it’s not that funny, sure Taran Killam tries his best and he plays just a weird character for the sake of being weird he adds nothing to the plot and his stuff isn’t that funny.  Now with that being said it’s not bad unfunny I just think this film didn’t have the right tone to be funny, there’s no energy to the plot or the characters and it was a huge mistake having Simmons and Hirsch both be laid back guys, there’s nothing dynamic about them they are kind of like the film they’re just there.

Sadly the main plot about a man who wants to be closer to his daughter is lost here cause that man spends most of the movie with her ex-boyfriend and that’s odd and add that he’s old enough to be the guy’’s dad just just fit, look age doesn’t matter in friendship but the only thing they had in common is that they both like Bob Seager.  The also use the fact that Hirsch plays the banjo like that should be a joke but it goes nowhere.

Final Thoughts: Not a bad film, I kind of enjoyed watching it but it felt like empty calories, it’s a showcase for Simmons but a film you won’t remember in a month.

Rating: 5/10

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