RUN ALL NIGHT | REVIEW

Liam Neeson returns in TAKEN 7 – oh, no, sorry, RUN ALL NIGHT. Kernel Blake reviews this one but all I see is same shit different franchise. TAKEN was awesome, no doubt about it, everyone loved seeing Neeson on the screen in a Bourne-like action thriller and ever since most commercial film makers in the world have wanted to have Neeson do it for them, and, well Neeson just signs on for anything these days, as long as it is exactly the same as the last three films he has done. I am waffling and what do I even know – I haven’t seen it, so STFU JK, everyone else please enjoy Kernel Blake’s review. RUN ALL NIGHT is out this Thursday 19th March in Australia, it is rated MA15+ and runs for 114mins. All the best…………JK. 

 

RUN ALL NIGHT MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
RUN ALL NIGHT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

BY BLAKE CURRALL

Geriaction [gerry-akshun] – a genre of film where unsuspecting actors, well past their prime, reinvent themselves by starring in films where they destroy many cities and wipe out swathes of its inhabitants.

Liam Neeson practically invented this genre of filmmaking back in 2008 when he teamed with French director Pierre Morel to bring us the surprisingly brilliant, TAKEN. Much like the skin on his body, the quality of Liam’s following geriaction films seemed to sag more and more, with each film trying to recapture the magic of TAKEN but falling short with each new entry.

Teamed with another French director, Jaume Collet-Serra, with whom he has worked previously on the underwhelming NON STOP and UNKNOWN, Liam is back as grizzled, ex-mob hit man Jimmy Conlon aka The Gravedigger in RUN ALL NIGHT. While the story of a washed up, alcoholic Irish murder machine is nothing new for this type of Neeson film, the addition of Ed Harris (THE ROCK), rapper/actor (raptor?) Common (SMOKIN’ ACES), Vincent D’Onofrio (MIB) and Joel Kinnaman (the bad ROBOCOP) to the cast offered up a slight glimmer of hope.

 

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RUN ALL NIGHT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | SHAWN MAGUIRE (ED HARRIS) AND JIMMY CONLON (LIAM NEESON)

 

Neeson goes slightly against his recent trend of Irish terminator roles by playing a washed up drunk, who is estranged from his son and his only friend is his mob boss, Shawn Maguire (Harris) who despite protests from his crew and family keeps Conlon around as a reward for all the ‘work’ he did for Maguire as he built his empire.

When Maguire’s son, Danny (Boyd Holbrook) shoots a Russian drug boss unknowingly in front of Conlon’s limo driving son, Mike (Kinnaman) old friends are turned against each other as their son’s try to take each other down. With a semi truce in place, Danny takes matters into his own hands by trying to silence Mike the Irish mob way but falling short when The Gravedigger bursts back into his son’s life and saves his life by putting a bullet through the neck of Danny. By saving his sons life, he immediately puts his son’s life in danger as Maguire severs all friendships and goes full rampage to take out the killer of his boy and anyone else that stands in the way.

 

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RUN ALL NIGHT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JIMMY CONLON (LIAM NEESON) FIRING A SHOTGUN

 

From here the Conlon boys, must Run All Night (sorry…) to stay ahead of the Irish mob, crooked cops and sharply dressed assassins all out to put them into the ground and to clear their names after Mike is framed for the deaths of the Russians. Where this film takes a different path to the last few Neeson efforts is building the characters and relationships between the characters. The father/son dynamic here is strained at best, with Mike knowing his father’s shady past and wanting nothing to do with him, but needing to rely on his specific set of skills to make it through the night.

While the film does delve into some geriaction film tropes and set pieces later on, it’s these scenes and those between Neeson and Harris that really help RUN ALL NIGHT to rise above the mediocrity of similar films. Seeing two acting powerhouses like Liam and Ed going head to head and chewing scenery together, as friends turned against each other, is a real delight as these guys always bring their A-game and intensity that we’ve come to love from them over such long careers.

 

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RUN ALL NIGHT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JIMMY CONLON (LIAM NEESON) AND MIKE CONLON (JOHN KINNAMAN) NEXT TO A TRAIN

 

Although the story and characters have been brought to the forefront of the film, that’s not to say the action scenes, while not as abundant, are an afterthought. Now in his mid-60s, Neeson is still an intimidating figure and although they’ve not given him as much to do action wise, there are some notable fight scenes in a subway toilet and a burning building against a seemingly unstoppable assassin. All this adds up to a surprisingly enjoyable flick that throws in plenty of twists and turns,  with a slightly slower pace and strong characters that more than hold their own with a script that isn’t anything to blow your skirt up.

On the whole, the film delivers most of the time, playing out as more of a 70’s style grim actioner in the mould of a Bronson flick and not relying heavily on the action beats of Neeson’s more recent efforts, focusing more on character and story, than the usual shooty shooty, boomy boomy. For those thinking Liam and his head smashing ways have been getting long in the tooth lately, this is a welcome change of pace for the ageing badass, while those new to the genre will find an easy way to spend a few hours.

 

3 Pops