Liam Neeson is back with yet another action thriller and, so soon after Taken 3 (which was met with lukewarm reviews), although the film's poor performance at the box-office proves that Run All Night was one Neeson-being-a-badass movie too many too soon, this doesn't reflect the film's overall quality.
Sure Run All Night works a bit too much like a compilation of Neeson's previous movies: he plays an alcoholic (Non-Stop) with a family he's aiming to protect at all costs (Taken) who is very good at punching faces (all of the above). Even then, this is a solid thriller which may not be quite as unique or atmospheric as the underrated A Walk Among The Tombstones, but which hits all the right notes and has a lot going for it. For one thing, the film looks beautiful: from the slick, dream-like expansive shots of the city to the dark, street-light-lit night shots, even if the film itself wasn't, the cinematography in this one is, indeed, a hit. Director Jaume Collet-Serra knows how to set up some great-looking shots, one just wishes we could have had more time to enjoy them as the fast-paced editing throughout leaves little breathing room, instead focusing solely on keeping the action moving.
Joel Kinnaman (RoboCop) plays Neeson's son, a limo driver and part-time boxing trainer with a family who gets entangled in the dodgy mob world his disgraced father works in. After Neeson shoots and kills the mob boss' (Ed Harris) erratic son, Kinnaman becomes Harris' focus and it becomes up to Neeson to try and protect his son and the latter's family from his ex-boss' wrath. What follows is a cat-and-mouse game between two pissed-off fathers, a sort of revenge movie for the bad guys as they chase the good guys with the help of some dirty cops and a creepy hired killer played by rapper Common. It doesn't help either that Vincent D'Onofrio's detective is on the case and has been trying to nail Neeson for his many crimes for years. Neeson has only one night to prove to his son that he's not a complete piece of s*** and he's going to make the most of it!
Run All Night is never dull, it's even pretty nail-biting at times, Ed Harris makes one intimidating villain to say the least and some of the sequences are simply tons of fun, a fight in a burning apartment and the tense climax in the woods being two examples of that. It's a good, if not completely fresh thriller and, box-office aside, it shows that Mr Neeson can still give us a good "run" for our money.
Worth checking out.