“RUN ALL NIGHT” (Film Review & Trailer)

RUN NIGHT poster


It’s father versus father in the exciting action drama Run All Night. The hard hitting crime film gets right into the story of violence and never stops dishing it out. Smart directing, very good cast and intense camera work make this film a winner. If you like Liam Neeson in movies like Taken then you will not want to miss his most powerful performance yet.

It’s been hard for former hit man Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) who was the most prolific in his kind of work. He’s been washed up for some time and needs to pay off some debts that have been building up. He goes to small time racketeer Danny Maguire (Boyd Hollbrook) the son of his ex-boss Shawn (Ed Harris) for a loan and gets refused. Danny then makes a deal that he’ll give him the money if he dresses up as Santa for his father’s Christmas Party. Things don’t go too well at the party and Jimmy finds himself back on the street.

Jimmy (Neeson) and Mike (Joel Kinnaman) walk away from a wrecked police car

Jimmy (Neeson) and Mike (Joel Kinnaman) walk away from a wrecked police car

Jimmy’s estranged son Mike (Joel Kinnaman), a limo driver, gets a call for service and picks up his fare not knowing that it’s Danny Maguire. He takes him to the location requested and a killing ensues causing Mike to flee the scene. When Danny finds out that the driver is Mike Conlon he goes after him to shut him up.

So begins a powerful film that bring Jimmy and Mike together in an attempt to escape the biggest mobster in Brooklyn. Director Jaume Collet-Serra who directed Liam Neeson in both Nonstop and Unknown gives the actor his best performance yet. Building a tough killer who will stop at nothing Collet-Serra uses Neeson to pump up his film to a pot boiler. He uses his cameras wisely getting gritty shots of Jimmy Conlon who’s constantly on a binge, showing the shoddy part of Brooklyn as the backdrop and then taking his actors in pursuit of the only way out. The production spares no expense destroying everyone and most everything in the father and son’s path on the way to the vicious finale.

Jimmy (Neeson) and brutal hitman Price (Common)

Jimmy (Neeson) and brutal hitman Price (Common)

Neeson gives another supercharged performance that’s made him a mainstay for action films much like Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Jet Li and Mark Wahlberg. He creates a very intense protagonist in Run All Night, one that focuses on saving his boy, even if he has to kill his best friend’s son to do so. The swift moving film has Neeson pushing the envelope to the very edge showing how deep he can go into the soul of his character just to make it all look real. I thought Taken was an extreme role, but Neeson turns Jimmy into a wrecking train in Run All Night.

Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris) and Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson)

Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris) and Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson)

But, he’s not without a great cast to back him up. Joel Kinnaman who played the tough detective in TV’s “The Killing” plays Jimmy’s son Mike. He hates his father for what he became and doesn’t want his help in getting out of the danger in which he’s found himself. He tries to avoid the situation, but the crime family wants him dead along with Jimmy. Having a wife and kids doesn’t help the situation and Mike finds himself tagging along trying to avoid the inevitable. It’s a tougher side of Kinnaman I haven’t seen before and I like it.

Playing the tough father of his only son and being the “beast” of a local mafia that’s ruled Brooklyn for many years, Ed Harris shows some of the grit that he delivered in Gone Baby Gone and History of Violence. Shawn’s not reasonable and he goes after Jimmy’s son with abandoned while telling his former hit man that he’s next. I like Harris’s performance here providing just enough mean combined with pathos for the loss of his son.

Run All Night has been rated R by the MPAA for strong violence, language including sexual references, and some drug use. The killing gets very realistic so for those who are timed this film may be a bit ultra-disturbing.

FINAL ANALYSIS: For those that like violence in film, this one has more than enough (B+)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman, Boyd Holbrook, Bruce McGill, Genesis Rodriguez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lois Smith, Common
Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra
Genre: Crime, Drama, Action
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, language including sexual references, and some drug use
Running Time: 1 hr. 54 min
Release Date: March 13, 2015
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

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