Run All Night isn’t great but a perfectly satisfactory and entertaining action/thriller flick. Liam Neeson does employ his “special set of skills” but unlike the Taken movies, his character does get more depth and actual emotion. The writing isn’t the best, in particular developing the plot, but this is at least worth a rental.
Run All Night
Genre(s): Crime, Drama, Thriller
Warner Bros. | R – 114 min. – $44.95 | June 16, 2015
THE MOVIE – 3.5/5
Run All Night is one of those movies you can’t help but like. Technically it’s not good and not entirely unpredictable either, yet thanks in large part to an amicable cast, and a couple well shot chase scenes, it makes for an enjoyable time waster that in all likelihood you won’t remember days later.
Jimmy Conlon (LIAM NEESON) was once known as The Gravedigger, an enforcer for crime lord Shawn Maguire (ED HARRIS) who has now gone legit much to the disappointment of his hotheaded son, Danny (BOYD HOLBROOK). Old Danny boy has made a deal with a foreign drug dealer in the hopes of having his pops use his authority running the ports to move drugs into the States. It might be a lucrative opportunity but Shawn sternly declines leaving Danny in a pickle.
Jimmy has his own son but Mike Conlon (JOEL KINNAMAN) but he has rejected Jimmy, to the point of not including his picture in a family collage, after he ran out on him and his mother when he was younger. And for his part, Jimmy isn’t doing so well with all of his murders coming back to haunt him while a detective (VINCENT D’ONOFRIO) is on his case desperate to give the victims’ families closure.
The story heats up when Danny, unable to pay back the drug supplier, kills him and his associates and wouldn’t you know it, Mike was the driver who took the supplier to Mike’s apartment and witnesses Mike executing one of them. Danny manages to escape through the streets. And despite Shawn ordering his son to lay low, Mike instead tracks Danny to his home to finish the job while Jimmy arrives to help his son and in the process, just as Mike is about to kill Mike, Jimmy kills Mike. In spite of it being in self defense, and the Mike was a hothead idiot, Shawn lets Jimmy know a line has been crossed and he sends his full force, including a professional assassin (COMMON), to go after the Conlon’s in revenge.
Now it’s up to Jimmy to keep Mike alive for the night outgunning and fighting off goons, the assassin and even corrupt police officers on Shawn’s payroll.
Run All Night is one of those movies that doesn’t make much of an impact… either way. On the technical side, the look, by cinematographer Martin Ruhe (The American), is glossy and the transition from one scene to the next, swooping from one part of NYC to the other, is unique. The action scenes are also well shot including a chase sequence on the streets Neeson chasing down a police cruiser, was exciting. And considering this is the third film pairing director Jaume Collet-Serra and Neeson — Unknown and Non-Stop —, the two are comfortable working together.
And the performances are also great. Neeson balances the action superhero aspect with some dramatic character scenes. Yeah, he’s still utilizing a particular set of skills (again) but with an actual back story makes for a far more interesting character. Joel Kinnaman once again turns in a fine performance as a man trying hard to reject his flawed father while Ed Harris has a smaller role but has some decent enough scenes opposite Neeson.
However, in spite of the right parts being put together, the story is kind of weak. The catalyst of the a-hole son being killed and Shawn even acknowledging his kid is a knucklehead and even disobeyed his orders, he still had to have Jimmy’s own kid killed in retribution. I don’t know, something just felt off and even the “crossing the line” aspect didn’t quite cut it.
All that said, Run All Night is still a perfectly serviceable action-thriller with well shot action scenes and some solid performances from its respectable cast.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.25/5
This release comes with a matted slip cover. Inside is a DVD Copy and a redemption code for the Digital Copy.
Shoot All Night (10:26; HD) is a simple behind-the-scenes featurette about filming mostly at night and in a relatively short amount of time.
Liam Neeson: Action All Night (6:09; HD) is a profile on Neeson, his character and comments from his fellow cast members.
Deleted Scenes (16:20; HD) – Here we get several scenes trimmed or cut including some additional footage with Nick Nolte whose role was diminished so much he went uncredited.
VIDEO – 4.75/5
Warner Home Video releases Run All Night onto Blu-ray presented in its original theatrical 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture offers sharp detail levels throughout and considering the majority takes place at night, dark levels also look good showing no signs of aliasing or pixilation. Colors are understandably muted even during the few daylight shots.
AUDIO – 5.0/5
The disc comes with a robust and well rounded DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track which not only provides for clear dialogue throughout but helps expand on the action sequences giving excellent depth to those sequences. The LFE channel also clicks on but thankfully isn’t forceful and instead assists the other elements of the soundtrack.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, Run All Night isn’t great but a perfectly satisfactory and entertaining action/thriller flick. Liam Neeson does employ his “special set of skills” but unlike the Taken movies, his character does get more depth and actual emotion. The writing isn’t the best, in particular developing the plot, but this is at least worth a rental. The Blu-ray released by Warner offers excellent video/audio transfers while the bonus material was much to be desired.
Brian Oliver aka The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.