After Jimmy (Liam Neeson) is forced to kill the son of his best friend, mob boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris), to protect his estranged son, Mike (Joel Kinnaman), a hectic night ensues. The father and son are forced to head out into the night to stay one step ahead of the police who are looking to arrest them and avoid a hit-man hired by Shawn to take them out.
Yeah, I Liked That
As I hinted earlier, ‘Run All Night’ is very similar to other recent Neeson action movies but that doesn’t mean this still can’t be an entertaining movie you can waste about two hours to watch. The action/violence in the movie satisfied me enough to where I wasn’t falling asleep or constantly looking at my phone hoping time would speed up so the movie would hurry up and finish. None of it was spectacular by any means but I’ve seen much worse and the scenes filled with gun fire or slow hand to hand combat (looking at you Neeson) happened often enough to try to make up for that. Common wasn’t in the movie all that much but when he was on the screen, bullets were flying. His first action scene was a nice quick building fire fight scene. The fighting was something that would NOT be mistaken with anything from ‘The Raid’ but the deteriorating surroundings added some slight thrills. What a nice follow up from ‘Selma’ and that Oscar victory Common. Another standout scene was when Jimmy had a quick shootout with Shawn’s goons. Once again, nothing spectacular happened but it showed the slick, skilled type of shooter Neeson has portrayed in his recent movies, when it comes to close combat, that we have become fans of.
Even though Neeson’s characters of late seem to have lots of similarities, I don’t get mad at it because he’s able to be successful at giving off that “tough guy” vibe every time. If that is what you character is trying to give off then you can’t really be mad at it. This time around, though, his character had more of a bummy and sleezy vibe to him so I like the addition of those slight traits; They brought a couple of laughs. Harris is another actor who excels at playing similar type of characters. He seems to like playing menacing characters which is fine because he does it well. His performance in this movie isn’t his best by any means but he was still able to give off that menacing vibe. I mean it honestly seemed like he wasn’t even really trying throughout the movie but his character could probably still frighten a little kid by just walking past them.
Yeah, I Didn’t Like That
Alright let’s talk about this plot. There were some elements about it that just weren’t clicking with me. One was a slightly small thing but it just bugged me. Yes the audience is made aware that Mike is not a big fan of his father but when Shawn’s son comes to kill him and Jimmy steps in to save his son, Mike gets angry at his father for it. Um…sir, you have two kids and a pregnant wife. I’m pretty sure you want to be around for them based off your actions in the rest of the movie so why get mad at someone who saved your life. Yes you hate your father and yes he did it in your house but he SAVED YOUR LIFE. You don’t have to be best buddies afterwards but at least say thank you. Now on to a bigger part of the story. After Shawn’s son is killed for trying to kill Mike, Shawn wants Mike killed. So basically Mike is getting the blame for not dying even though Shawn didn’t agree with his sons actions. I get that Shawn wants Jimmy to feel how losing a son feels since he killed his son but your son was going to kill his son. Was Jimmy supposed to just watch? I mean, you know he is a killer so shooting a gun isn’t something he probably thinks twice about. If you didn’t agree with the dumb stuff your son was doing, you can’t fault someone for self defense. But if you want to be mad, just go after Jimmy. Come to a compromise and go after the man who pulled the trigger instead of the man who was at the wrong end of the gun. But whatever, what do I know. There were other things here and there but I’m going to just chill for now.
Let me throw out some other negatives about ‘Run All Night’. I touched on the acting earlier but I wasn’t expecting much from the performances in this type of movie…but with that said, I still wasn’t feeling Kinnamen’s performance. Out of all the characters, his character was probably asked to show the most range of emotion but that task was too much for him. The way his expression rarely changed in the movie, you would think he was always angry and that he was the movies villain. Like I said, I wasn’t expecting much but he wasn’t able to blend in with the movie. He stood out and not in a good way. He’s going to be apart of a movie I’m anticipating heavily in ‘Suicide Squad’ so he better bring it for that one or we’re going to have a problem. In regards to the directing, I think director Jaume Collet-Serra stunk the place up. Different camera techniques he used, like the random speed/zoom through parts of the city as a transition, just didn’t make much sense to me. Also, the gritty, dark tone he tried to create just came off as generic because it feels like a number of other directors could have done the same thing. I don’t recall seeing some of the tricks he used this time around in the movie he directed before this one, ‘Non-Stop’, so he should just let this be a one time thing.
You know what, before I go, let me play devils advocate. I know I said earlier that I was basically cool with Neeson playing similar characters but I still have a slight problem with it. So once again he has a past as a skilled killer. OK that is similar to his role in the ‘Taken’ franchise with those particular set of skills and whatnot. And the killings he done in the past ruined his present with his son and other less important things. OK that is similar to a murder Neeson’s character committed in ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’ that affected his life going forward. I could be reaching with all that but I’m just throwing it out there. But it shouldn’t be too difficult to have different things sway your characters actions. But like I said before, I’m not really trippin’ about it though.
Boy oh boy I haven’t seen so much snitching in a movie before but that’s not the point (because I’m all for snitching). ‘Run All Night’ is just another Liam Neeson action movie of the past…what six years but it’s still an entertaining ride you won’t be mad at seeing.
RATING: Might Rent
P.S. Once again here is my rating scale. There are four different levels. Below is each level in order from best to worse and what each one means.
Must Own = A movie that is so good that I must add it to my Blu-ray collection when it comes out.
Would Accept as a Gift = I enjoyed the movie but don’t necessarily have to buy it (especially if I don’t have the funds to) myself but I would take it if someone bought it for me.
Might Rent = A movie that if I have the urge to watch again then I’ll just rent it from somewhere or Netflix it.
Never See Again = Very simple. I don’t want to ever see this movie again.
(Photo Credit: http://www.impawards.com/2015/run_all_night_ver6.html; Myles Aronowitz, AP; http://www.movienewsplus.com/2015/03/38-new-images-from-run-all-night.html)