‘Run All Night’ wheezes through clichéd set pieces
By Bob Bloom
“Run All Night” is an action thriller that limps along on tried-and-true genre clichés.
Leading this leaden stampede is Liam Neeson who again shows that despite his age, he can take punches, kicks and body slams ,as well as dish them out, without mussing a hair on his head.
In this lame drama, Neeson plays Jimmy Conlon a former hitman for his childhood friend, Sean McGuire (Ed Harris).
When McGuire’s son attempts to kill Conlon’s son, the former killer acts instinctively and kills the young man.
McGuire, of course, must have revenge — even though his son was a no-account scuzbag who went against daddy’s wishes.
Conlon pleads with his old friend for mercy, accepting the consequences for killing the boy. But McGuire wants none of it and sends his minions out to find and kill the young Conlon.
This, of course, unleashes the elder Conlon’s one-man killing machine.
He mows down mobsters and crooked cops, as he and his son race around New York looking for a way out.
McGuire also puts an infamous hitman, played by Common, on their trail.
It seems the entire city — police and bad guys — are out to get the Conlons. Still, that is just a puny army in a Liam Neeson film.
No matter how preposterous the odds, Neeson’s character will prevail, simply because he is Liam Neeson. Forget logic, audiences want to see Neeson kick ass and kill dozens of people.
And he is more than ready to oblige in order to earn a big payday for himself and box office revenues for whatever studio is hiring him.
Among the film’s other problems is its pacing. For a feature entitled “Run All Night,” this claptrap lumbers and stumbles around, moving at a pace that would make a marathon runner impatient.
Neeson’s Conlon is introduced as a drunk. But once he sets out to protect his son, he shows no sign of a hangover. His reflexes are as quick as a Navy SEAL on a covert mission.
You’d think one punch to the gut, with all that booze inside him, would incapacitate him. But since this is Liam Neeson, the concept of age and conditioning do not apply.
The wisest course of action is to run as far away from “Run All Night” as possible. It’s a decision you won’t regret.
Bloom is a member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. His reviews appear at Reel Bob (reelbob.com) and The Film Yap (filmyap.com). He also reviews Blu-rays and DVDs. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ReelBobBloom. Other reviews by Bloom can be found at Rottentomatoes: www.rottentomatoes.com.
RUN ALL NIGHT
1 star out of 4
(R), graphic violence, language, drug use
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