When his estranged son Mike (Joel Kinnaman) witnesses a murder, Jimmy (Liam Neeson) must take on his brutal and ruthless former boss – and lifelong friend – in order to protect his son.
I recently read a tweet – I can’t remember from whom – saying they wish Liam Neeson would just chill for one movie. Sadly, Run All Night is not that movie. Jaume Collet-Serra’s thriller places Liam Neeson firmly in familiar territory. Neeson does fine in the role – although it is becoming increasingly obvious that he is not as physically fit as he once was – but this is nothing we haven’t seen before. Joel Kinnaman is a bland family man, and Ed Harris takes on the role of a discerning mobster whose loyalties are called into question. The rest of the cast is made up of Genesis Rodriguez, Common and Vincent D’Onofrio.
Brad Inglesby’s screenplay tells a familiar tale of lifelong friends who are forced to turn on one another in the name of honour. The trouble is that there is so much back and forth between the two friends that their motivations seem to disappear over the course of the film. The dialogue is fine, but there are no surprises to be had here, especially since the film’s cold open lets the audience know exactly where things are headed.
Jaume Collet-Serra directs capably, especially handling the set pieces and car chases well. The pacing of the film, however, is all over the place, leaving the entire affair feeling drawn out. The performances in the film are perfectly fine, but there is very little that stands out in this drawn out thriller. Serra does nothing to move Run All Night away from his previous Liam Neeson thrillers Non-Stop and Unknown, meaning that this film feels very much like something we have seen before.
In all, Run All Night is a familiar film with very little new to say. Serra does well in the set pieces, but the rest of the film is drawn out and bloated for the sake of trying to insert emotion, a ploy that doesn’t always work. Neeson seems to have accepted that his place is now the ageing action star, and this is a shame since almost everything since Taken has felt unoriginal.