In Run All Night, retired hit man Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) is forced to kill the son of his best friend, mob boss Shawn (Ed Harris) in order to protect his own estranged son. Jimmy and his son fight and run around NYC while they try to gather evidence and or figure out a way to clear Jimmy’s son of any mob retaliation. Jimmy is eventually forced to kill Shawn and dies protecting his own family from a highly talented hit man hired by Shawn before he dies.
This movie is all right. I can’t recommend it to anybody, but I can’t say it’s terrible either. It’s just all right. Liam Neeson is as good as he can be with such a limited script and the scope of this movie. There just isn’t enough of anything in this movie to make his performance memorable. The character isn’t mysterious or hyper competent enough like Neeson’s character in Taken for you to remember him for much longer after you left the theater. He’s a talented killer sure, but beyond that we don’t get anything in the movie that really shines. And that’s the problem with the movie as a whole; nothing stands out. Workmanlike can be a complement in the right movie, but not in this one. The bad guys are bad but not memorable; the hints of Jimmy and Shawn’s younger days offer a little insight into their past, but ultimately fail to bring any pay off for the film. The scene where Jimmy kills Shawn should be heartbreaking, they seem to have a genuine friendship, but it just doesn’t deliver. Jimmy and his son have a nonexistent relationship but even that nonexistent relationship is pretty standard. The son is angry, as he should be, but it’s not special and it’s not specific enough to have any effect on the audience. There is no artistic flair in this movie except for the cutaway shots between scenes that show us where in NYC we are headed. I enjoyed seeing the geography of the city being used to show us the various groups moving around the city trying to get things done. There is also a chase and fight scene in a burning tenement building that is entertaining; it makes good use of the vertical dimensions and cramped status of such a building.
Sometimes movies are so average they become bad movies, or they are so competently done that while bringing nothing new to the table, they rise above the level of their parts. This movie does neither. It just sits there awkwardly in the middle, being neither so bad nor so good as to be memorable.
Next Movie: Furious 7 or Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro
Next Book: The Private Eye by Brian K.Vaughan, Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente