Run All Night

Run All Night

In Theatres: 
Mar 13, 2015
Running Time: 
114 minutes

Liam Neeson’s rise to action hero status has been fast and aggressive over the past few years, as is evident by the numerous Taken clones that have overtaken his recent filmography. Run All Night is similar in that it features Neeson being his usual badass self, but the film also deviates from the norm in that his character struggles with his past actions. Despite its differences, it still feels like we’re watching the same Liam Neeson action movie.


Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) spent his life as the right hand man of his friend and crime boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris). Shawn controls everything in the city, from what comes in at the docks to which cops are on his personal payroll, and whenever there was a problem Jimmy would be the guy to “fix” it. That was back in the day, though, and Jimmy’s life of crime has finally caught up to him, and now he spends his days getting drunk at the bar. When his estranged son Mike (Joel Kinnaman) witnesses Shawn’s son Danny (Boyd Holbrook) kill someone during a botched business deal Jimmy must resort to the violence that now haunts him in order to protect the people he loves most.


Run All Night takes place over the course of a single night in which Jimmy Conlon attempts to redeem himself from a life’s worth of mistakes. After killing Danny in order to save his own son from being killed, Jimmy has the wrath of Shawn and everyone he controls in the city rain down upon him and Mike. Naturally, Liam Neeson doesn’t go down easily.


Jimmy Conlon is interesting in that he’s a criminal who’s trying to make up for what he’s done, but the film doesn’t do a good enough job at exploring his inner demons. He’s a lonely drunk at the beginning, but the second things start to get messy he turns into that Liam Neeson who has that very specific set of skills. There are some father and son bonding moments, but they are few and far between. Mostly it’s just him being smart and killing people. And even then it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.


Being an action star can be extremely demanding, and it’s getting clearer to see that Liam Neeson is getting older. All of the fight scene are filled with sporadic camera moments and close-ups, making it difficult to understand what’s going on. Jimmy even gets a leg injury early on in the film, forcing him to limp for the rest of the film, most likely because there’s only so much running Neeson can do. It all makes for a relatively boring film.


Run All Night is a film we’ve seen before. It doesn’t do enough differently to make it stand out from the rest of the times we’ve seen Liam Neeson single-handedly take down an army of guys. It’s not terrible, but it’s not memorable, either. It’s simply more of the same we’ve come to expect from him lately.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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