‘Run All Night’ is Liam Neeson’s umpteenth movie for the year. Seemingly making a film a week, his thespian ubiquity hasn’t gone unnoticed. Whilst this vast output has produced some clunkers, ‘Run All Night’ isn’t one of them. Utilising much from Neeson’s bag of tricks, admirers will be pleased. Fast paced, edgy and featuring plenty of the death stares for which he is known, ‘Run All Night’ is a respectable addition to his gallery of tough anti-heroes.
Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) will do anything to protect his family. A feared hit-man, his skills are needed when his son Mike (Joel Kinnaman) becomes a victim of a home invasion. Finding and killing the intruder, Jimmy is shocked to discover the culprit is the son of his former boss Shawn (Ed Harris). Swearing bloody retribution, Shawn vows to destroy Jimmy’s life. Desperate to protect his loved ones, Jimmy wages a deadly battle against former friends and foes in order to survive.
Neeson’s claim as a ‘21st Century Charles Bronson’ is assured with ‘Run All Night’. Set in the seedy world in which Bronson’s ragged characters used to reside, it is an excellent mix of thrills and action. His role is less heroic than usual giving him a chance to display range. Conlon isn’t a nice guy and is as sleazy as the people he kills. Setting him apart is a warped code of honour and past regrets. His shot at redemption arrives when his family are in peril. Only then can he make peace with the demons driving him.
Much of the success lies in the strong direction and performances which successfully combine to fully immerse viewers into New York’s mean streets. This allows total engagement in the character’s plights bringing the story’s sense of scale. Set mostly at night, the camera swoops into grimy domains with gusto. Whilst occasionally dragging, the screenplay conjures authenticity which helps in understanding Conlon’s actions and rugged world-view.
Even though his recent output has been vast, Liam Neeson needn’t be ashamed of ‘Run All Night’. One of his better movies matching his skills with a solid script sure to cement his place as cinema’s leading action-hero lights.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 7
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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