Run All Night: Film Review
Cast: Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman, Boyd Holbrook
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
There's a grizzly broody weariness around Neeson as he reteams with his Unknown and Non-Stop director for another entry into the older action genre with Run All Night.
Neeson is Jimmy the Gravedigger a former enforcer for Ed Harris' Shawn Maguire. When Jimmy's estranged son Michael (a simply scowling Kinnaman) witnesses the murder of two Albanian gangsters by Shawn's son, Danny, it's up to Jimmy, who's versed in the ways of the old, to ensure Michael doesn't spill the beans. But when Jimmy shows up on Mike's door after years away, not only is the son not pleased to see the father, but it sets a chain in motion which sees both men forced on the run, with the might of the mob, a bounty hunter (played with steely determination by Common) and a detective determined to nail Jimmy for prior unpunished sins on their trail....
Run All Night has an urban grit to it and a wearied sheen that's eminently watchable.
Once again, Neeson whores out his very particular set of skills to the genre, but there's something of a right fit about this role that doesn't see the heroics of Bryan Mills channelled pointlessly. Equally the scenes Neeson shares with Harris crackle with the reality of the passing of time and are tinged with the sadness of regret about the circumstances the two find themselves in.
Director Collet-Serra keeps the action predictable and taut as the plot plays out; but it's a lack of real warmth that could cause some to disconnect from Neeson's aged performance - and certainly will see many finding Kinnaman's character too aloof and simply bitter. Equally, street kid Legs is wasted serving only a deus ex machine purpose when the story heads down a cul de sac with nowhere to go.
Ultimately Run All Night may not have the crackle it needs to be massive, but a combination of Neeson's empathy, Harris' subtlety and plenty of grit give this movie more of an edge than you'd initially expect.