Run All Night: Film Review – A giant chase sequence

There will come a day, when we finally tire of watching Liam Neeson beat up bad guys. Today is not that day.

Jimmy Conlon (Neeson), a washed-up hitman from Brooklyn finds himself in a tough spot after he has to kill his boss, Sean Maguire’s (Harris) son. Maguire is now out to avenge his son’s death, but first wants Jimmy’s son Mike (Joel Kinnaman) killed as it is he who started the whole mess. Jimmy and Mike share a very strained relationship, wherein they can’t even be in the same room together. But for this one night, they have to work together to avoid being hunted down by the police, the mob and a trained mercenary (Common).

Though the film takes time to get to the chase, it flows so nicely, fleshing each character out so we can sympathize with them. There is a specific scene, where Neeson and Harris reminisce about their heydays, which is infused with charm, thanks to the overall presence of the two actors and the to-the-point dialogues. Liam Neeson is kind-of reprising his role from Taken, except it’s his son and not his daughter he has to protect this time. Yet, there are some crazy stunts that only this 62-year-old could have pulled off.

The film also stars Vincent D’Onofrio as Detective Harding, who is the only one not out to murder Jimmy. D’Onofrio has limited scenes, but is a refreshing addition to an already eclectic cast. But in this vast array of great actors, Joel Kinnaman is probably the weakest. You can see he is trying to match up. While he nails the action parts, his expression is especially stony in scenes where he is talking to others.

The movie plays out some very obvious action movie tropes as can be expected. But there is a sense of urgency to it that is completely believable. But just when the momentum is at it’s peak, there are few scenes which drain the movie of the energy it manages to build up. Nevertheless, it makes for a decent watch.

The movie also benefits from very clean, flowing shots. The absence of shaky cam also gives it a lovely feel. Every part of New York is captured in its grim and dark glory. There is a lot to like about this film, and also enough to hate. Especially the coincidences in the plot. Jimmy is being followed by goons, Jimmy enters a stadium to avoid confrontation. He then finds a ticket stub and gets in with ease. There are a few more of these that will tick you off. 

Why should you watch this film?

You’d be lying if you said that you are sick of watching Liam Neeson in another action movie. The actor has given freely to the genre, and it has definitely returned the favor. Neeson is at his absolute best in this film, and with Ed Harris in tow, he manages to hit all the right notes. Apart from slight distractions, Run All Night is a decent edge-of-the-seat entertainer and is worth your time and money.

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