'Run All Night'
A; Action Drama
Director: Jaume Collet Serra
Cast: Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman, Common, Genesis Rodriguez, Vincent D'Onofrio
It doesn't really take much to get a Liam Neeson action movie every now and then. Sometimes there are even two or three of those each year. Liam Neeson himself is to blame because he started the trend with 2009's 'Taken' that launched the Luc Besson style cheap but highly profitable genre. While the original film was a breath of fresh air at that time the genre really has become a self-parody of sorts.
Not improving on any level is the newest Liam Neeson movie 'Run All Night' that simply takes every single element from his recent action films and recycles them for you. The film is directed by Jaume Collet Serra who earlier made the weird but interesting horror film 'Orphan' and the other Neeson movies 'Unknown' and 'Non stop'. 'Run All Night' is exactly like those films in theme, style, plotting and narrative, even the title of the film seems to place it in a particular category.
Anyway here Neeson stars as Jimmy Conlon, a hitman working for the mafia boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris). Except for the hitman part Neeson is exactly like the Bryan Mills character in 'Taken'. He's done mysterious and bad things in the past, he is haunted the ghosts of his deeds, he's retired from that sort of stuff, but is pulled back into one last job because his kid is pursued by gangsters. The kid in this film is played by Joel Kinnaman (from Robocop), a taxi driver who witnesses a murder perpetrated by Maguire's son and inadvertently kills him. Neeson and Kinnaman spend the film, you guessed it, running all night from various thugs and corrupt cops employed by Maguire.
This is a standard issue action movie with all of the guilty pleasures and shortcomings you expect. What the film has going for itself is that it's seldom boring for the lowest common denominator audience – there's always a chase or a fight scene happening at any given instance. The chases and fights, unfortunately, are poorly choreographed. The camera is jut into the actors' faces and you can't really tell what is going on in the frenetic mayhem unfolding on the screen. There's a fair bit of unintentional hilarity courtesy of Common who plays a laser-eyed assassin out to kill Conlon. The film could have been entertaining had the filmmakers not treated the subject matter with such seriousness and just embraced the ludicrousness of the whole thing. It's what the Jason Statham 'Crank' movies did and they're far more interesting than Neeson's recent output, including this one.