Two Liam Neeson thrillers in 2015 and it’s only March. The ageless Irishman is having a late career changeling as a Charles Bronson action hero, he proves yet again his capacity to make any film credible just by appearing in it.
Spanish Director Jaume Collet-Serra and Neeson are now firm collaborators, having made three films in the last four years. Starting with 2011’s Unknown, a Hitchcock inspired thriller, last years forgettable heist thriller Non Stop had him play a boozy air marshall heroically attempting to stop a mid air heist. Now with their third outing together Neeson moves further into noir darkness playing retired enforcer/hitman Jimmy Conlan whose work for local mobster Shawn Maquire (Ed Harris), has left him a guilt ridden, tormented alcoholic. On the other hand his estranged son Mike (Kinnaman) is living a productive life with two young girls and a loving wife. Unfortunately being in the wrong place at the wrong time threatens to bring Mike’s excemplary life undone. The film is taken up with Maquire demanding revenge for the death of his son, whilst Conlan will stop at nothing to protect his son from the onslaught of hired guns out to kill them both.
Few surprises await with Run all Night. It is a run of the mill genre pic, efficiently directed and acted by veterans who know how to imbue a scene with more gravitas than they deserve. The action scenes are handsomly mounted, and Neeson and Kinnaman play well off eachother. Kinnaman a Swede, starred in last years failed Robocop reboot and AMC’s The Killing series. Common appears in a ridiculous cliche of a role as a cold blooded unstoppable hitman leaving the dependable Ed Harris to bring his usual skill to the role of the mob boss.
If you are looking for an escape with a very familair, moderately entertaining genre pic, Run All Night will satisfy. Those wanting a return to original, compelling, superior thriller narratives will have to wait a little longer.