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Review – Run all Night

Run all Night Poster

Surely you know the drill by now.  Somebody messes with Liam Neeson‘s family, he makes them pay.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a Taken film or not, lately any action movie starring Liam Neeson seems to follow a pretty similar pattern.  In this one, Neeson is Jimmy Conlon, a run down old man with a haunted past, drinking problem, and nasty attitude.  Responsible for numerous deaths at the request of criminal boss and long time friend Shawn (Ed Harris), he’s pretty sick of himself and everyone else at this point.  Those days are far behind him, but he’s long since accepted that they will forever define him.

When Jimmy’s son Michael (Joel Kinnaman) is in the wrong place at the wrong time, Shawn’s boy, Danny (Boyd Holbrook) ends up dead.  The Conlon men are in for a long night.  With the criminal underworld coming at them from one direction and the NYPD from another, they’re just trying to stay alive long enough to make this all go away.  The cast also features Common as a deadly assassin, because why not.

Logic is never a strict requirement of action films, but in this case it bothers me.  Great pains are made to set up Shawn as a reasonable man who will do anything for his best friend Jimmy.  He’s learned from his mistakes, and while he is still a criminal business man, his out of control days are behind him.  He also can’t stand what an idiot his son has become, telling him he’s reckless and refuses to get him out of any more messes.  Yet when his son is killed, for a very good reason, all that goes out the window.  I’m not saying he should be thrilled about it, but he seemed far too reasonable for the ridiculous night that follows.

I’ve not jumped on the Neeson action train like so many others.  The films just don’t do it for me.  That being said, this isn’t half bad for what it is.  It at least has some solid action sequences now and again.  The camera work, however, is just absurd with dramatic digital camera swoops from Google Earth to odd angled macro shots eliciting laughter from the audience after the first few times.  It just doesn’t work.

A lot of the movie doesn’t quite work.  It’s remarkably similar in many ways to to John Wick but not nearly as thought out, entertaining, or action packed.  If you’re a fan of Liam Neeson’s particular brand of action entertainment, though, you’re sure to enjoy this one as well.  If not, there’s not much else here for you.

Mrs. Hamster did not screen this film

My rating: Two out of five hats



Run all Night chases through 3,171 theaters March 13

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