Run All Night (15)

Okay so yes it’s yet another movie about Liam Neeson punching and shooting people, but here’s why you should give it a chance…

Professional hitman Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson), more commonly known as “The Gravedigger”, has one night to figure out where his loyalties lie: with his estranged son, Mike (Joel Kinnaman), whose life is in danger, or his long time best friend, mob boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris), who wants Mike to pay for the death of his own son.

It’s a choice that no normal person would want to make, but Jimmy isn’t your average Joe. Over the years he’s carried out countless horrific murders all in the name of loyalty to the mob. His best friend Shawn has the local law enforcement on the payroll and so the professional hitman has never done any hard time for his unforgivable acts.

That’s something that just doesn’t sit right with Detective Harding (Vincent D’Onofrio) who won’t rest until Jimmy is behind bars.

In order to save his son’s life Jimmy is forced to go up against Shawn. Together, he and Michael must avoid corrupt cops, contract killers and the mob to survive the night.

As Jimmy drunkenly wrestles with the ghosts of his violent past, Michael is running out of time. Can Jimmy make things right with the family he betrayed by turning on the ‘family’ that has become his life?

The minute you hear Neeson declare “I’ve done terrible things…” you know you’re on home ground. Jimmy is like Neeson’s character in the now career-defining Taken movies, but he has something that Bryan Mills lacked, depth. Heaps of it in fact.

Director Jaume Collet-Serra previously worked with Neeson for Non-Stop which you could argue is a better movie that Run All Night, but at least it isn’t as dreadful as A Walk Among the Tombstones.

Run All Night is Neeson back at his best. Forget the Taken spin-offs, Neeson shows us what made the original Taken movie so great. The punch, shout, shoot formula is still there but this time around there’s a backstory to delve into.

Liam Neeson, like Bryan Mills, has a particular set of skills and it seems that he’s finally started using them to make movies with more than a grimace and a bust up.

By Ruth Walker
★★★☆☆

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