Run All Night

Posted by Joel Copling on March 12, 2015

Extracurricular information regarding the actors in, really, any movie is completely irrelevant to the movie at hand, I find, but I'll make an exception for once: Just the day before writing this review, its star, Liam Neeson, announced an intended retirement from the type of action fare that has made him even more of a household name in the age of Twitter since 2009's "Taken" led to his stardom and co-stardom in similar efforts. I hate to say this as a fan of the actor (He manages to find the pathos in a role written with little of it), but I breathed a sigh of relief. The formula plagues an otherwise skillful effort with "Run All Night," Neeson's third outing with director Jaume Collet-Serra (the others being 2011's idiotic "Unknown" and 2014's intriguing "Non-Stop"). This one middles out to be merely inconsequential.

Neeson stars as Jimmy Conlon, a former hitman for mobsters--namely, Sean Maguire, played here by a formidable Ed Harris. He's haunted by a past that might be the strongest aspect of Brad Ingelsby's rote screenplay; mentions of being ordered to kill the people closest to him and Sean for lack of trust aren't for nothing, but it would have been nice for that somberness to seep into an otherwise forgettable effort. Jimmy's wife died years ago, and their son Michael (Joel Kinnaman) wants nothing to do with his dad. That is, until Sean's son Danny (Boyd Holbrook) is involved in a drug deal gone horribly awry and Michael is the witness. You can probably see where this is going, what with Jimmy's past as a man with a particular set of skills.

The whole thing becomes a run-of-the-mill revenge drama without the proper emotional attachment to characters who, by the end, go through a serious ordeal. There's the predictable twist of a trio of Jimmy's buddies whose allegiance is not with him. There's the resentment from son to father for past deeds that, honestly, are rather worthy of resentment. There's the attempt to connect to Jimmy because of a mother in the hospital and a brother (Nick Nolte, making us worry about his vocal cords some more) who is reluctant to help but predisposed to because he's family. There's the ruthless killer, here played by Common, with his own set of rules (Actually, this character is admittedly a lot of twisted fun to watch). "Run All Night" is just more of the same.

Film Information

Liam Neeson (Jimmy Conlon), Joel Kinnaman (Michael Conlon), Ed Harris (Sean Maguire), Vincent D'Onofrio (Det. Harding), Nick Nolte (Jimmy's Brother), Bruce McGill (Pat Mullen), Genesis Rodriguez (Gabriela Conlon), Common (Andrew Price), Boyd Holbrook (Danny Maguire).

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and written by Brad Ingelsby.

Rated R (violence, language including sexual references, drug use).

114 minutes.

Released on March 13, 2015.