Long time friends Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) and Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris) go head to head after Jimmy guns down Shawn's son after he attempts to kill Jimmy's son. They have one night to figure this mess out and right all their wrongs.
It seems as though we're getting a Liam Neeson action movie almost every 5 months after the big success of "Taken". Some not being able to capture that same magic and some surprising the hell out of us. I'm glad to say "Run All Night" falls into the latter section.
The trailer sold this to us as another straight up action flick but the film actually packs a much larger dramatic punch than you'll expect when going in. Much like his character in "A Walk Among The Tombstones", Neeson's character here is extremely flawed and isn't necessarily likable, but he gets the job done. This is Neeson's third outing with director Jaume Collet-Serra who also did "Non-Stop" and "Unknown", this is by far their best collaboration.
"Run All Night" is really a story about a father and his son, two people who have strayed from each other after their not so simple past. Jimmy Conlon is an ex hitman so clearly this career choice may have clashed with family life. Joel Kinnaman (RoboCop) was very good in the film as Michael Conlon, Jimmy's estranged son. He was fine in "Robocop" but I really enjoyed him here.
Ed Harris (The Rock) who plays the main villain of the film was also fantastic, he and Neeson going head to head was a fantastic sight to behold. The second villain of the film is a Terminator-esque hitman played by Common (Selma), he is hired by Maguire to hunt the Conlon's down and does so with great prejudice.
Liam Neeson has a lot of weight to his performance, he plays an unlikable character but one you'll learn to root for because as you'll learn throughout the film, he wants to change his life, and he's sorry for the things he's done. Movies rarely ever succeed in making their characters feel like they have a life outside of the story that we see. Jaume Collet-Serra also did a good job at doing this in "Non-Stop". The characters here have a past and you can see them having a life beyond the movie, even some of the smaller characters.
Some of the most riveting action films of all time take place in a confined space of time; "Die Hard", "Speed" etc. "Run All Night" makes good use of its setting and time to tell a small story that because of its time constraints, never really slows down.
There are some parts of the film that don't feel completely fleshed out, one involving a cameo from a very famous actor, there is a story brought up in that scene but it never really goes anywhere, in fact it felt like it was thrown in at last minute.
Besides that small issue, "Run All Night" is a very entertaining movie. It's dark, yet never overly serious. I think you'll have a fun time with "Run All Night", I say go see it!