Run All Night
Bored into eye-rolling sarcasm by Liam Neeson’s late-career flogging of the action hero horse, I was sceptical on seeing his latest gun-toting, man-out-for-revenge movie poster. Following Unknown and Non-Stop (the first two in director Jaume Collet-Serra’s Liam Neeson Trilogy) and more Takens than you’d care to shake some nunchucks at, Run All Night risks looking irritatingly derivative and completely devoid of novelty.
But no! Thanks to snappy pacing, enjoyably flashy photography and marvellous performances from Ed Harris and my new favourite up-and-comer, Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman (Robocop, The Killing), this classic family crime drama is a terrific caper which doesn’t so much reinvent the genre as freshen it up with a slap round the head.
Harris’ and Neeson’s Irish-American families have grown up together, although only one patriarch has made enough money to “turn legit” while the other slipped off the wagon long ago. When one of their sons botches a criminal enterprise, relationships are thrown into turmoil and each father must fight the other to keep his family alive.
What unfolds is a fairly standard cat-and-mouse caper, enlivened by Collet-Serra’s knack for editing a zippy script underscored with a superb soundtrack. More We Own the Night than Taken 4 Granted, this film should keep Neeson’s action career running a while yet.