Liam Neeson has a particular set of skills. It pretty much only involves shooting guns, punching people, and bringing some degree of gravitas to a paint-by-numbers action flick; but hey, if you’ve got it, flaunt it.
He’s at it again with “Run All Night,” a below-average movie that features an above-average cast.
Neeson plays Jimmy Conlon, a washed-up enforcer for mob boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris, who is awesome and should be in every movie).
Jimmy spends most of his time watching TV by himself and getting drunk as his estranged son Mike (Joel Kinnaman, aka the dude who played Robocop in the remake) wants nothing to do with him.
But one night when on the job as a limo driver, Mike witnesses a murder by Shawn’s loser son Danny (Boyd Holbrook), who then comes after Mike in an attempt to cover his tracks.
But Jimmy kills Danny before Danny can kill Mike and we are off to the races as Shawn wants revenge for his dead boy and plans to hunt Jimmy and Mike to the ends of the earth, or at least to the ends of New York City.
You’ve seen all of this before as Mike and Jimmy try to bury the hatchet while being chased by everybody from the cops, led by Det. Harding (played by Vincent D’Onofrio, who is also awesome and should also be in every movie) to ruthless hitmen, as played by actor/rapper Common.
“Run All Night” was directed by Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra, whose previous two films were “Unknown” and “Non-Stop.” Apparently, the dude is going to ride this Liam Neeson-career-resurgence train as far as it will take him. There are certainly directors who have plotted worse career paths.
To his credit, Collet-Serra is a competent director who does add some visual flair to the film as his camera whisks and zooms around New York’s five boroughs courtesy of Google Maps.
In spite of all this faint praise, “Run All Night” is a good 20 minutes too long and while it is professionally made, it is formulaic to the point of boredom. It’s kind of like watching a football game where you already know the final score.
This isn’t a terrible movie, but there is no real reason to see it unless you have never, ever seen any sort of action movie at any point in your life.
But at the very least a lot of decent actors drew a paycheck and Neeson continues to punch and kick his way into a comfortable retirement. So, cheers to that.
“Run All Night” is rated R for strong violence, language, including sexual references, and some drug use.