FlixChatter Review: Run All Night (2015)

Ted_review

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Liam Neeson has struck gold with TAKEN and he’s been doing the same kind of movie since. It could be that he’s now being typecast or that he prefers the big paychecks; I’m thinking it’s a little bit of both. Whatever the case, he’s great as the action hero who can take down countless baddies and he would’ve been perfect as Jack Reacher. For many action stars in Hollywood, we kind of have to suspense of belief that they can beat down a bunch of bad guys, I don’t see Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt or Matt Damon take down anyone in real life. But Neeson I can believe he can kick ass on the big screen and in real life.

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The film opens with a wounded Jimmy Conlon (Neeson), he’s been shot and then the film flashes back 16 hours earlier. Conlon is now at some bar in NYC and asking the bar owner Danny Maguire (Boyd Holbrook) for a loan. Danny is the son of a powerful Irish mobster Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris). We later learned that Conlon and Maguire are childhood friends and that Conlon is his hit man. Conlon also has a son named Mike (Joel Kinnaman) who doesn’t want to have anything to do with him because of his involvement with the mob. Mike is a limo driver and on this night happens to be driving Danny’s drug dealing partners; he drops them off at Danny’s condo and waited outside. Danny owes his partners a lot of money and since he can’t pay them back, he decided to kill them. Mike witnessed the carnage and barely escaped when Danny went after him. If you’ve seen the trailer then you pretty much know the basic story set up, Jimmy came to his son rescue and killed Danny. This of course pissed of his old friend Shawn so he sends out his henchmen, including dirty cops, to take out Jimmy and his son. True to the title, both of them ran all night.

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Unlike his role as Bryan Mills in Taken, Neeson is more of a loser in this film. But he’s still kick a lot of butts and shoots tons of people. Basically he’s a poor man’s version of Bryan Mills. Harris took his role a bit too seriously but he’s effective as the villain. I’m still not sure I like Joel Kinnaman, he’s okay in last year’s Robocop remake and he’s okay here as the sidekick. There aren’t any other memorably performances in the film, although rapper Common showing up as the main antagonist was kind of weird and interesting. Also, there’s a nice cameo from a veteran actor whom I haven’t seen on the big screen for a long time, so keep an eye out for him.

The script by Brad Ingelby is pretty generic, there’s nothing that we haven’t seen in this kind of film before. In fact I think he must’ve watched some early 90s crime thrillers before he wrote this script, the film reminded me of State of Grace, Out for Justice and Heat. There’s even a scene where the two veteran actors Neeson and Harris facing one another in a restaurant just like the scene from Heat with De Niro and Pacino. Director Jaume Collet-Serra (who worked with Neeson previously in Unknown and Non-Stop) did a good job of keeping the action moving fast and never lingered on useless scenes. He used some interesting transitions between each scenes, not sure if I’m a fan of the technique but it’s definitely interesting. He didn’t really include any over-the-top action sequences, but I did enjoy an action sequence set in the housing project. He also shot the movie on film, a rarity these days and I think it looks great.

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This isn’t a film that’s going to win any awards and don’t expect any originality. If you like seeing Liam Neeson kicking ass then you’ll enjoy this one. It reminded me of the 90s action thrillers and most importantly, I was never bored while watching it.

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Have you seen Run All Night? Well, what did you think?

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21 thoughts on “FlixChatter Review: Run All Night (2015)

  1. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this. Liam playing against his good guy Bryan Mills character, Ed Harris always solid, and the family drama (in both of theirs) worked for me. Little less with the Google Maps-like zoom camera effects — did you catch the in-joke? So much better than Tak3n. Fine review, Ted.

    1. Same here Michael, I didn’t have much expectations for it and I ended up liking it quite a bit. You know I was trying to figure out what the director was trying to do with that zoom transition effects and now I know, thanks for that info!

  2. Interesting, your write-up reminds me of what I thought of Walk Among The Tombstones. Have you seen that? I thought it was a bit better than most Neeson flicks. Dan Stevens is great in it too.

  3. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ted:

    Cool, interesting review!

    I thought that Mr. Neeson may have gone to the well that one time too often with ‘Taken 3’. Though he is far more believable as an action character than Sean Penn in ‘The Gunman’.
    Or Willem Dafoe’s John Clark in ‘Clear And Present Danger’. When Clancy Brown would have been perfect!

    It’s nice to see Mr. Neeson has found a niche (His persona, voice and delivery have a lot to do with it!) and character type he fills so well!

    1. Hey Jack, yeah Neeson definitely needs to stop making these kind of movies, I skipped Taken 3 because it got so much bad reviews. And yes he’s more believable as the action hero than Mr. Penn.

      I wasn’t a fan of Defoe as John Clark either, if they’re still going forward with the film version of WITHOUT REMORSE, I think Tom Hardy could finally be perfect John Clark/Kelly.

      1. jackdeth72

        Hi, Ted:

        HBO was in negotiations to buy the rights to ‘Without Remorse’ after its first edition. And had plans for using Mr. Brown for Clark/Kelly, But dropped it for reasons unknown or unexplained, My guess is that they were just starting to talk to Spielberg about ‘Band of Brothers’.

        Your choice of Tom Hardy is inspired, His age and build are just about spot on!

        1. Yeah I remember HBO was going to produce Without Remorse years ago and I think I like Clancy Brown as John Clark. I also remember back in 1994 when John McTiernan signed on to direct a film version and Keanu Reeves was set to play Clark. But then the studio that was going to finance it went bankrupt and of course the project never happened. A couple of years ago Hardy was attached to the new development of Without Remorse but the failure of the new Jack Ryan movie probably stalled it. If the new Mad Max film is a big hit then I’m sure the studio will go ahead and green light the new Without Remorse film.

  4. Liam Neeson becoming this action star at like, 55 was something that kind of blew my mind. He’s good at it though. I just wish he weren’t so lazy in his choices now. Like you said, he’s obviously content with just playing the same part in different variations of the same movie, and this is a shame since he was at one time a very respected and versatile actor. He needs to stretch himself just a little bit before the gimmick of ‘old man saving the day’ wears off and he becomes a joke.

    1. Yeah I think he should stop making these kind of movies and star in more respectable films again. But in Hollywood, offers stop coming in when these well known actors gets older and they usually accept whatever role the studios offered them. Look at Robert De Niro and Bruce Willis, they’ve done so many bad movies in the last decade or so.

  5. Liam Neeson is like a modern day Charles Bronson. Both were incredible actors in the right roles, but both, especially in the later stages of their careers made very lazy choices in movies, but as someone who is not above enjoying complete schlock like “Death WIsh III” (Death Wish 2, 4, and 5 can go straight to hell though) that’s not always a bad thing. Liam Neeson is just such a great face and voice to anchor a badass action movie on. He’s definitely earned the “I’ll see anything as long as he’s in it…” quote. Good review.

    1. I have to agree with you there, Bronson did a lot of crappy action pictures in his later years of his career and I enjoyed many of them; I did like Death Wish 3. I also enjoyed his other cheaply made action films such as ASSASSINATION, MURPHY’S LAW and MR. MAJESTYK. It appears Neeson is going down that road too.

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