When it comes to the recent crop of Liam Neeson action movies, Run All Night is certainly one of them. You see one of these and you've basically seen them all.
All of the potentially interesting aspects to Run All Night fall into the background by the end. The previous relationship between Jimmy and Shawn might have been fun to explore, but it just gets boiled down to "they were friends; now they aren't." Jimmy and his son begin the film with no relationship and are forced to at least partially reconnect thanks to circumstance, but it's not explored with any real meaning. A hitman, Mr. Price (Common) shows up out of nowhere and is apparently known by Jimmy, but he simply acts as a plot device and a way to get a couple of additional action scenes into the film. Some Albanians are murdered early in the film, and one scene suggests that their gang might eventually seek out revenge, but that never crops up, either. There are hints at a better movie here, but Run All Night just doesn't ever get there.
Of course, Liam Neeson is as fun as he always is to watch. He gets to be a little more profane and wisecracking here, given the film's R rating, although his transition from layabout drunk to know-it-all father is jarring, given that it takes about one scene. Joel Kinnaman seems to have forgotten that he's not supposed to be playing the emotionless RoboCop, as he is utterly bland in what essentially amounts to the sidekick role. Ed Harris gets a few fun scenes as the villain, but his character is underwritten to the point that he can only be recognized as "the villain." Génesis Rodríguez is in this movie for a few scenes and is given nothing to do. And, hey, Vincent D'Onofrio shows up as the one and only incorruptible cop. He also does very little. It's Neeson's movie, and that's almost too bad; the supporting cast and their individual places in this world would make for a more interesting film.
When it comes to the recent crop of Liam Neeson action movies, Run All Night is certainly one of them. You see one of these and you've basically seen them all. It's nowhere near as bad as something like Taken 3, but since Jaume Collet-Serra already made Unknown, which might wind up being the best of the bunch when all's said and done, you're better off watching that.
Bottom Line: This is a generic movie that skips over its interesting aspects in favor of boring shootouts and chase scenes. It's not offensively terrible, but wasting almost two hours of your life on it isn't recommended.
Recommendation: This is the sort of thing that you watch late at night on cable because you can't sleep.
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