Run All Night (2015)

runallnight_2015_poster
Run All Night (2015)
  • Time: 141 min
  • Genre: Action | Crime | Drama
  • Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
  • Cast: Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman

Storyline:

Brooklyn mobster and prolific hit man Jimmy Conlon, once known as The Gravedigger, has seen better days. Longtime best friend of mob boss. Jimmy, now 55, is haunted by the sins of his past—as well as a dogged police detective who’s been one step behind Jimmy for 30 years. But when Jimmy’s estranged son, becomes a target, Jimmy must make a choice between the crime family he chose and the real family he abandoned long ago. Now, with nowhere safe to turn, Jimmy just has one night to figure out exactly where his loyalties lie and to see if he can finally make things right.

7 reviews

  • After killing his best friends son, to save his own son, played by Joel Kinnaman (RoboCop), Jimmy Conlon, played by Liam Neeson (Taken 3), has one night to protect his his son and his family and resolve the situation with mob boss, Shawn Maguire, played by Ed Harris (Pain & Gain). After Jaume Collet-Serra’s disappointing film, Non-Stop, I was unsure what to expect from Run All Night, although it was written by Brad Ingelsby, who also wrote the brilliant Out of the Furnace.

    Collet-Serra’s previous action films have been riddled with over-the-top and completely unrealistic action sequences, however, Run All Night has a much more realistic approach. Far too many action films use action scenes as a selling point, with this realism to the fight and chase scenes, Run All Night, instead uses the action to help enhance the story further.

    Run All Night is set over one night and with that comes a chance an unrealistic amount of things could happen in a short space of time and feel like a season of 24 (honestly he does way to much in one day and doesn’t use the toilet once!). A lot does happen, but it’s not over crowded and more importantly we don’t get over crowded with action scenes, instead… To read the full review click here.

  • “Liam freakin Neeson”. Those are the first thoughts that enter my mind when I discover that Ireland’s favorite butt kicker is making another action drama. The look: a leather jacket, an unshaven face, a weariness from the soaking effects of alcohol on the mend. The character: one bad mother, a former hitman battling inner demons, a 6’4″ juggernaut with a special set of skills. The plot: fathers and sons, mob ties, plenty of chain smoking, bodies piling up. The verdict: 2015’s Run All Night is the third collaboration from Neeson and director Jaume Collet-Serra. They scored with last year’s Non-Stop and actually top themselves this time with “Night”. It’s a hard-ass, moxie noir that makes you feel unsafe and doesn’t give you a chance to breathe. Dare I say that this might be the crowning achievement in Liam’s career as a vigilante who’s on the verge of collecting his veritable social security.

    Containing a set of story lines and/or themes that evoke shades of 2006’s Running Scared and even 2011’s Drive, Run All Night is a farcical yet entertaining vehicle. It sporadically features mad dog chemistry between Neeson and his heavyweight acting counterpart, Ed Harris. The story takes us to I guess, present day New York City. Liam “I’m still milking the action cow” Neeson plays a former contract killer named Jimmy Conlon (the quintessential name for a New Yorker). Jimmy currently lives his life in a drunken haze. He rarely eats, has huge regrets, and is so broke, he’s actual desperate enough to borrow eight hundred dollars. He’s also estranged from his son Mike Conlon (played by Joe Kinnaman), his ex-wife has passed away long ago, and he’s relegated to living in a rundown apartment. Despite all this, he still has the back of his former yet more successful crime boss, Shawn Maguire (played by Ed Harris). Within “Night’s” first half hour, Jimmy’s son (a part-time limo driver) winds up in the wrong place at the wrong time. He watches Shawn’s son Danny (played by Boyd Holbrook) commit multiple murders. When Danny goes after Mike as to leave no witnesses behind, Jimmy kills Danny and the two are hunted down by everyone from the police to another hired hitman to Shawn’s plethora of mob henchmen. Ed’s Shawn instinctively turns on Liam’s Jimmy and says to him, “I’m coming at Mikey with everything I got”. You ain’t kidding bud.

    Jaume Collet-Serra’s direction is at times hyperkinetic if not unsobering. Instead of always cutting to a scene, he chooses to use Manhattan as a CGI map so his camera can go all aerial by travelling from one location to the next. He also exhausts you with plenty of gravitating action set pieces as well as letting his sound effects editor (Patrick Cicero) pound your senses with loud, visceral gunplay. He unintentionally channels 1995’s Heat. There’s the familiar restaurant conversation between the leads (a la De Niro and Pacino) and the familiar ending involving kill shots and bromantic hand holding. Finally, Collet-Serra gives “Night” a feeling of a Western via the last ten minutes. That’s when Neeson’s Conlon gets his indubitable kill on in a ruffneck, mafia-invested tavern.

    With the exception of Joel Kinnaman who’s just as wooden as he was in last year’s RoboCop, Run All Night has performances that are rich and textured. We start of course, with Liam Neeson. He dons the mask and cape as the ultimate antihero. His despicable, former murderer for hire is fall down drunk until his need to save his wrongly accused son really makes him snap to it. Ed Harris is well, effective playing Ed Harris. He does his best emoting while sitting down and not moving all over the place. Then we have Common. With minimal dialogue and a how to approach in being Joe Conlon’s rival hitman (Mr. Price), the Chicago born rapper is icy cool and rigidly nasty. Last but not least, there’s grizzly Nick Nolte in an unbilled, two to three minute cameo. He plays Neeson’s character’s disapproving brother.

    Acting and directing stints aside, I am going to recommend Run All Night despite some cliches. They run rampant like the movie version of the NYPD who never seems to get to a violent shootout on time. We also have the the gun-toting protagonist who fails to run out of ammo no matter how many gazillion rounds he’s fired. Finally, we get the obligatory opening flashback where a character is on the verge of dying. This flashback, which is enhanced by narration, later on turns into a climatic scene that will be featured towards “Night’s” conclusion. I lost count the number of times thrillers featured this hand me down.

    Anyway, Run All Night has its share of flaws. However, it has given me the most excitement I’ve had writing a review since I penned The Gambler back in December. It’s a relentless shootout quandary, a nail biter that an audience member should never and I mean never, “run” away from. So okay, here’s what you do: grab some popcorn, buy a pack of Goobers, fill up your soda, and get settled in. As Neeson’s Conlon says during the film’s second act, “it’s gonna be a long night”.

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  • Run All Night: As I have said before, Liam Neeson is the king of action movies. He was practically born to play the star of action movies. At times though, it feels a little repetitive. Yes, he is a good actor, but the character he plays is more or less the same. Still, there is no doubt his action movies(with the exception of Taken 3) are entertaining, I came expecting an entertaining action movie and that is what I got. Although Run All Night is no different than other recent actions movies, with great looking action sequences and Liam Neeson at the helm, you can’t help but enjoy the ride.

    As I said before, I have seen the same character Liam Neeson plays in Run All Night in a lot of his other movies. He has a troubled past and those once close to him never talk to him anymore. His past always involves killing people and he is very remorseful. Then a situation calls for his “special skills” and he needs to use them to save the people he use to be close too. At a certain point, Liam Neeson needs to do something new. He can probably do one or two more of these movies before the general public starts to get sick of all of it. I believe Liam Neeson is a very good actor and he has just been pegged as an action actor by studios. Once the time comes for him to go back to more serious acting, I think he will be able to handle it.

    Just because I have seen this kind of movie before does not mean it is not entertaining. The car chases in particular were the most exhilarating. They were the parts of the movie where the audience was at the edge of their seat. And of course, the fight scenes were very well choreographed. They happen with such precision that it makes it look like a real, intense fight which is what we have come to expect.

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  • Third time is the charm for director Jaume Collet-Serra and actor Liam Neeson, who come together for their strongest and most satisfying collaboration to date in the well-constructed action drama Run All Night. Though the Taken franchise is wholly responsible for Neeson’s unlikely third act as an action star, it is his work with the Spanish director (Unknown, Non-Stop) that has most effectively made use of the Irishman’s action persona: the all-too-fallible hero who must overcome his own internal demons to deal with the external conflicts at hand.

    Neeson’s Jimmy Conlon is a sad sight. Once a mob enforcer so feared that he was nicknamed “the Gravedigger,” he is now a washed-up drunk, wracked with guilt over his past misdeeds which cost him his family. Jimmy is still looked after by former boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris) – longtime friends, their bond runs deep – who tells Jimmy they both did what they had to do back in the day. Things are different now – Shawn has turned himself into a legitimate businessman, which is why he refuses to partner up with the Albanian drug dealers his son Danny (Boyd Holbrook) introduces him to. The problem is the Albanians have already paid Danny to guarantee Shawn’s involvement, and they want their money back.

    Things go mightily awry when Danny ends up killing the Albanians, an act witnessed by their driver Mike (Joel Kinnaman), who happens to be Jimmy’s estranged son. Jimmy ends up killing Danny to protect Mike, angering Shawn who promises his old friend that he will come after Mike with everything he’s got. Jimmy must now find a way to clear Mike’s name whilst evading Shawn’s henchmen, including hired hitman Price (Common); the NYPD, who believe Mike shot the two dirty cops in Danny’s employ; and Detective Harding (Vincent D’Onofrio), who has been trying to capture Jimmy for the past three decades.

    It is that consistent application of pressure that makes Run All Night such an exciting and vigorous thriller. From the dynamic car chase that recalls The French Connection to the set piece in a high-rise tenement building, Collet-Serra stages sequences that are robust and brawny. The latter sequence is particularly thrilling as Jimmy and Mike must make their way out of a burning building surrounded by cops, finally flinging themselves from the balconies as both Price and Harding narrow in. With its fistfights and car chases, Run All Night is old-fashioned in the best possible way, and the care taken in Brad Ingelsby’s script to establish the bond between Jimmy and Shawn reinforces how high the emotional stakes are for these two blood brothers.

    Indeed, both Neeson and Harris do excellent work here. Some may argue that Jimmy’s transition from self-pitying alcoholic to quick-minded man of action may be too abrupt, but Neeson clearly defines the turning point – there is a moment of clarity that washes over Jimmy in the seconds following Danny’s death. He knows what must be done, and all he can hope for is to negotiate the best possible outcome when he gets on the phone with Shawn to tell him what he has done. The pain and resignation as both men choose their sons over their friendship is beautifully expressed by Neeson and Harris, and makes the inevitable conclusion all the more resonant and powerful.

    Some minor quibbles: Junkie XL’s intrusive score seems plucked from the stock library; an unbilled cameo from Nick Nolte is slightly distracting; and though Common is a charismatic performer, his already superfluous character ends up unnecessarily extending the story, which had already come to its ideal and logical conclusion.

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  • Quickie Review:

    Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) is a loyal hitman for the mob boss and his best friend Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris). All loyalties are broken when his estranged son Mike (Joel Kinnaman) is marked as a target by Shawn. Together Jimmy and Mike must put aside their differences to survive the night from mobsters and corrupt cops. Run All Night had a high risk of being just being another poor or mediocre addition to the collection of Neeson action movies, very much like what Taken franchise has become. Surprisingly Run All Night is actually a pretty good film with a good balance of action and character interactions. Unlike Tak3n, this movie is what we want from a Liam Neeson action flick.

    Full Review:

    At this point there have been a number of action films starring Liam Neeson. Some were decent, others made me regret sitting in the cinema. And yet never did I really get bored of seeing Neeson as an action hero. So hesitantly I still wanted to give this movie a chance, and thankfully I was not disappointed.

    The reason this movie works is because the whole story takes places over one night. Now the action scenes aren’t revolutionary, they are pretty standard gun and fist fights. However that constant state of urgency brought on by the short timeline keeps the action exciting enough. There were times where the movie slows down but these were some of my favourite moments. One of them being the conversation between Ed Harris and Liam Neeson in the restaurant. It’s just a conversation but the they brought a lot tension to the words exchanged. There is a lot of history between the two of them and it clearly shows. Also the father and estranged son relationship between Neeson and Kinnaman’s character was well developed. Usually in films like this that story element can feel too clichéd but that’s not the case here.

    I liked Ed Harris’s character a lot but I was hoping he’d be more hands-on. This brings me to what I didn’t like about the movie, the addition of Common as the main hitman hunting the lead characters. Sure the fights scenes between him and Neeson were good but why is Common in the movie? Honestly I have no idea. Apparently he hates Neeson’s character, that’s all we know, no idea why. This was odd because the movie put effort into developing the history between other characters but when it came to Common he could have been any random faceless gunman. So building this character’s motivation would’ve brought some weight to his actions.

    Run All Night is a fun movie. It’s a smaller scale action movie but that’s where Liam Neeson shines best. So if like me you are hesitating to watch this movie I’d say you should give it a try. It definitely rinses of the bad taste left behind by Tak3n.

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  • I love the action hero Liam Neeson. He’s one of my favorites. He has a certain style of drama that he brings to the gritty crime drama- style, that’s mixed with this slick over the top action. He has this thing were he does a slow motion gunshot that’s becoming his signature. Doesn’t hurt that he’s a finer actor than most action stars, either.

    Anyway, if you’re not a huge fan of the formulated action movies that Neeson puts out once or twice a year, this may change your mind. It follows the format perfectly but somehow this one was done with more excellence than his last features, “A Walk among the Tombstones” and “Taken 3”.

    It’s dark and it was gritty like “Walk among the Tombstones” but the energy coming from it was more kinetic. This may have something to do with the acting of not just Neeson (who gave a great performance), but also of Robocop’s Joel Kinnaman who was a great supporting actor as Neeson’s son. We also had another legendary actor, Ed Harris as Shawn Mcguire, the main antagonist. The interesting relationship the Protagonist had with the Antagonist worked because they had such great actors in this role.

    Overall, I think this one stands out more than his other action dramas cause Neeson did not have to carry this by himself. Neeson with an excellent ensemble cast is what did it this time, and makes it definitely worth seeing above his others.

  • “Wherever we’re going, when we cross that line, we’re going together. Me and you. ”

    I’m starting to think that Liam Neeson really has a drinking problem, because this is another movie with him as an ex-alcoholic or alcoholic. In “Non-stop” and “A Walk Among the Tombstones” he could shake off the addiction. In “Run all night” he’s trying to suppress his sorrow by constantly consuming liquor. Neeson prefers the action genre nowadays apparently. After more serious work in the past such as “Schindler’s List”, “Nell”, “K19”, “Gangs of New York” and “Kinsey”, he’s focusing on action. Sadly enough he got stuck in the same mould. It’s clear that the audience appreciates this kind of movies with Neeson, because last year the third part of “Taken” has been released . Neeson as the bitter, fierce and energetic ex-police or ex-gangster who has to compete against several vengeful opponents. It sounds and looks pretty clichéd but nevertheless there’s a guarantee for pounding thrills and action-packed scenes.

    Neeson plays the role of Jimmy Conlon, a hit-man who has stowed away his gun and goes through life full of remorse for what he has done wrong in the past. In “Run all night” he’s not only attacked by an entire pack of gangsters who are out for revenge cause he has killed the son of his former boss and good friend Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris) (in self-defense to save his son Mike from a certain death), almost the complete New York police force who for years (especially police officer Harding) are trying to arrest Jimmy and his associates (the lack of evidence prevents them from doing so) and the hit-man Andrew Price (Common) who acts as energetic and determined as “The Professor” in “The Bourne Identity”. But Jimmy also fights his own personal battle with his son Mike (Joel “Robocop” Kinnaman) who doesn’t want him to be part of his life again, because of Jimmy’s past. The end result is the two running and hiding all night. And that’s where the film title comes from.

    Despite being 63 years old, Neeson still convinces as true action hero. And apparently the director Jaume Collet-Serra is also convinced about that, because this is the third movie he makes with Neeson (after “Unknown” and “Non-stop”). The only difference with other iconic action heroes is that Neeson also has a lot of acting talent. The interactions between him and Harris are probably the most enjoyable in this movie. Two cynical veterans with their own tragedy and bitterness. The meeting between the two fighting cocks in a local pub was for me one of the highlights in this action packed movie. Joel Kinnaman fulfills his duty as the son who’s full of anger and needs to use more acting techniques here than in “Robocop”, where you could only see chin.

    Furthermore you can expect what’s always used in such typical films: tough fights, when the time comes there’s a hail of bullets, explosions, burning rubber with matching material damage and this all infused with a bit of tragedy. Not very original in other words. The number of casualties increases slowly but surely until the end credits. There’s obviously a lot of running around. And together with the sustained action and impressing camera technology, this ensures that the pace stays intense. The images with the camera cleaving through the air and zooming into the next location, was thrilling and extremely successful.

    Altogether “Run all night” is a driven movie full of mindless action and visually intense, supported by wonderful acting of the three protagonists. Both the feud between Jimmy and Shawn, and the interactions between father and son make for some quality acting moments. But it is not really surprising.

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