Run All Night casts Liam Neeson as a hit man who has run out of gas. Haunted by the ghosts of those he murdered, and alienated from his family, Jimmy Conlon has taken to drinking and long, slow pity parties.
His best friend and gangster Shawn McGuire — played very nicely by Ed Harris — takes care of him.
Crisis strikes when McGuire’s thuggish son kills drug runners wanting him to push heroin onto New York streets. Conlon’s son Michael — palyed by RoboCop’s Joel Kinnaman — just happens to be the limo driver for the druggies, and McGuire’s son tries to kill him too. That’s when Conlon makes the choice to shoot and kill his best pal’s only boy.
McGuire — who owns the police — puts a hit on Jimmy, son Michael and Michael’s family. Dad and son are not on speaking terms, but now must trust each other to survive.
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Two things. Neeson has found a niche playing the dangerous hit man. When given decent plots like A Walk Among the Tombstones, Neeson is pretty good. But most times — like here and in the Taken movies — he’s a cliche rather than a three-dimensional character.
The only scenes in Run All Night that are slightly interesting are those between Harris and Neeson, and there are too few of them.
Second. If Ed Harris can’t save a movie, it can’t be saved. Harris’ deep, rich voice and acting skills are clearly superior to his co-stars and Brad Ingelsby’s ( Out of the Furnace) script.
Early on, director Juame Collet-Serra ( Non-Stop, Unknown) hooks you. Excellent camera work and effects, and the set-up are pulse pounding. Then — stuck with a script with nowhere original to go — his movie slows to a predictable crawl, and Run All Night feels like it runs all night.
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