Run All Night, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan, Non-Stop), is the story of Jimmy Conlin (Liam Neeson) a broken down, drunk, former hitman for the mob boss and friend Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris). Through a series of unfortunate events, Jimmy kills Shawn’s son to save his own. Now, he must protect his son and his family from the consequences of his actions.
After Tak3n I was not excited for Run All Night, which I jokingly referred to as T4ken.
Luckily, Run All Night was a proficiently made dramatic thriller that falls somewhere between Taken and Walk Among the Tombstones in action, pacing and drama. Though, not wholly unique. What made this movie standout to me were the quieter moments of dialogue between Shawn and Jimmy. Their history felt real, their admiration for each other was understandable and their unwavering focus on old school “eye for an eye” justice felt somehow earned. To his credit, Joel Kinnaman (Robocop, The Killing) stands up well against these veteran actors as the estranged son trying to keep his distance from his failure of a father.
Were it not for the second hitman, Andrew Price (portrayed by Common) I would have enjoyed this movie significantly more.
That is not to say Common wasn’t enjoyable as the hitman chasing down Jimmy and his son, just that it felt out of place in this movie. At it’s heart, this movie is about two best friends who get thrown into an impossible situation and react the only way they know how: violence. Throwing in the cold-hearted Andrew Price broke that emotional revenge story fabric that the movie did so well at building.
If you’re looking for a standard dramatic action thriller, then look no further. Run All Night, though it doesn’t involve much running, is a good time. There is nothing you haven’t seen here in a dozen other movies, but at least you can know it’s well performed.
Do you have any interest in Run All Night? Don’t let it’s low score on Rotten Tomatoes worry you. If you like Liam Neeson and need that action itch scratched, Run All Night is a safe enough bet. Maybe just watch it during a matinee showing.