HOLLYWOOD—Liam Neeson is back once again to prove that his fame as an action-star over 60 is far from over with his new thriller “Run All Night.” Neeson plays Jimmy Conlon, an aging hitman who is forced to take on his former boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris) after he kills his son, Danny (Boyd Holbrook).
The tale is a bit complicated, as you see two friends, that term is used loosely, as the former employee and boss didn’t always have the best relationship. I thought it was a bit of poor casting to have Joel Kinnaman portray Jimmy’s estranged son, Mike. Kinnaman is a bit older, so much to the point where he could pass as a brother not a son, but the audience is asked to go with it.
The film is directed by Jaume Collet-Serre who has helmed the horror flicks “House of Wax” and “Orphan.” He recently directed Neeson in the 2014 thriller “Non-Stop,” which was loads of fun. This latest outing not so much.
The movie has fun elements to it, but all the elements don’t mesh well with the narrative to fully maintain the spectator’s attention. Neeson portrays a character the audience has seen time and time again from the actor; a man who is virtual loner, with few if any friends and his family have very little contact with him. I felt I got a mix of “Taken” plus a few other action flicks with this thriller, as our protagonist is doing everything in his power not only to protect his son and family from being killed, but himself.
That is no easy task when you have an enemy as skilled as Harris’ character, a detective portrayed by Vincent D’Onofrio) who has been looking for the ripe opportunity to take down Jimmy for years and a hitman by the name of Price (Common) [a very meaty role] trying to eliminate our hero.
The film works on a scale as an action flick full of gunfire, epic fights, car chases and deaths to leave tongues wagging. So where does it falter? The plot is a bit all over the place, and some of the characters fall flat. I mean you’re not going to leave the theater remembering the names and scenes of this movie years from now.
“Run All Night” has decent material, but this is a film that you should not run to the theater to see because on an originality scale it falls quite flat.