Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) is not a good guy. He was a hitman for Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris), a big time mobster. Now Jimmy works for Shawn’s son, Danny (Boyd Holbrook). Danny, hoping to present his father with his own money-making plan, brings Albanian mobsters to his father to propose an agreement for them to smuggle drugs into the city using Shawn’s connections. Shawn, having turned to legitimate business, turns them down.
Jimmy’s estranged son, Mike (Joel Kinnaman) is a limo driver. He works long hours to make ends meet for his family. After witnessing a crime take place, Mike becomes a target. When Jimmy saves Mike, they become the most wanted men in the city. Jimmy and Mike must find a way to protect Mike’s family and survive the night.
Liam Neeson plays a character he is all too familiar with. He is a down on his luck alcoholic who has strained relationships with his family. He has played this character in many films, which makes it feel natural for him. Ed Harris is his former friend turned nemesis. While looking older than I have ever seen him, Harris plays the bad guy very convincingly. Falling back to his Law & Order days, Vincent D’Onofrio plays a cop determined to bust Jimmy for the murders he has committed back in the day. Like Liam’s character, playing a determined cop comes easily for D’Onofrio. Joel Kinnaman seems a little stiff in the movie, but not so much that it takes anything away from the film. After all, the focus of the movie isn’t exactly the acting.
The primary focus of the movie is the nonstop action. From car chases, to run ins with dirty cops, to being hunted by every thug in the city, they throw in every action movie staple. Everything is done with precision.
The cinematography in the film brings something unique to the genre. During the scene cuts, the camera does a fly over of the city. Not only is this a great visual trick, it also gives you a sense of connection between each scene. (For this reason alone, I almost with the film was done in 3D.) My only complaint with the fly overs is that they seemed to forget how cool this was about two-thirds of the way through the movie, where they switched to standard scene cuts.
Run All Night is a typical Liam Neeson action movie. It’s a film that doesn’t make you think. Instead, it is filled with car chases and graphic violence. That isn’t to say it is a bad film. On the contrary, I greatly enjoyed it. Fortunately, no one is taken in this film.