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Run All Night Movie Review

"I'm the best chance you've got. Listen to your father for one night." ~Jimmy Conlon

"One night..." ~ Mike Conlon


Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) used to be a famous mobster/hitman working for his long time, best friend and mob boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris), but life has not been kind. Conlon is now a loser, alone, a drunk and ridiculed by everyone. His past life haunts him on a daily basis. He can’t sleep; all he can do is drink. Shawn is the one person who continues to support Conlon, even after Conlon ruins the Maguire family Christmas party playing drunken Santa.

The story moves quickly to the sons. Danny (Boyd Holbrook), Shawn’s son, wants to embrace the underworld. He gets in over his head by promising Albanian drug-lords a deal with his father. Unfortunately, because of his experiences with friends and drugs (most likely Conlon), Shawn has “gone legitimate” and refuses to do business with the Albanians or help his son out of the mess he created. Danny is scheduled to meet the Albanians later in the evening.

Next, what a coincidence, the drug dealers hire Conlon’s son Mike (Joel Kinnaman – RoboCop 2014) to drive them to the meeting in a limousine. Next thing you know, Danny is dead at the hands of Conlon. Suddenly Conlon is on the run with his estranged son, Mike, wanted by the bad cops, the good cops, Shawn and all of his henchmen. Conlon has one night to figure out how to save his son, so that Mike can return home to his pregnant wife and two kids. Will Shawn and Conlon’s friendship survive the night or will it end badly? (Don’t want to give away any spoilers).

Great Movie Moments:

Neeson is still on top of his game. So many times we see maturing, action actors, acting well past their prime and it shows. It’s great to see that Neeson still isn’t quite showing his age.

This movie is truly an all-star cast including: Common as top-notch hired hitman Andrew Price, Vincent D’Onofrio as frustrated Detective Harding. Holt McCallany and Bruce McGill play Shawn’s current trusted henchmen. An almost unrecognizable Nick Nolte even has a small role.

The scenes don’t simply cut from location to location. The director zooms you through the air from one scene to the next. You start with the close in view to the action and when it’s time to move back to another scene/location, the camera zooms out through the air and zooms in to where the next scene is located. This technique gives an almost "real time' feel to the movie...while this happening here, this is happening over there.

While critics bash Run All Night as pretty standard, predicable fair, I found it to be quite entertaining. Sure, I’ve seen the cat and mouse game through the railroad tracks while hiding in the cars, but the exciting moments more than made up for some of the films more cliché moments.

I appreciated the fact that, accept for the brief scenes with Mike's wife and kids, this was a true action film and not "muddied" by trying to deal with a relationship / love interest aspect.

Not so great moments:

Mike’s pregnant wife did so much complaining during her scenes; it was hard to worry about her safety, definitely the girls, but her, not so much.

There were a few scenes where we were left short, almost as if the director had cut a little bit too much of the top. For example, the scene with the burning apartment complex (you need to see the movie).

Overall, I thought it was action-packed. Liam Neelson, isn’t quite at the “over the action movie age”. He’s still looking good.

Is the movie predictable? Mostly, but if you give yourself up to the story you will still be surprised and enjoy the action.

Overall, I give the movie 4 out of 5 stars.

Rating: Rated R for extreme, bloody violence including cop-killing.
Run time: 114 minutes
Release date: Mar 13, 2015
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

I used my AMC movie stubs rewards card (which I paid for with my own funding) to see this movie.

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