Film: Run All Night
Cast: Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
The title of the film is a clear indication of what to expect from it, especially when Liam Neeson is at the helm of affairs. Known for flaunting his envious analytical and combat skills in a series of action-oriented films, Neeson is once again up to a mammoth challenge, where he is the last man standing between death and his family. Reminds you of Taken? Well, the premise demands more or less the same price from Neeson again.Jimmy Conlon aka The Gravedigger (Neeson) is well past his prime as an underworld hitman, and is leading a life of no importance. He craves for a family life, but his son Mike (Joel Kinnaman) loathes his sight, and thus he continues to remain a recluse. The only person who seems to have some sympathy for Jimmy is his former boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris), but the equation between two former partners changes at a rapid pace when Jimmy's son Mike witnesses a murder by Shawn's son Danny (Boyd Holbrook). Now, Jimmy has no choice but to resurface as his previous self, but the two old men know each other's secrets and modus-operandi, and therefore it's going to be a bloody war in the dimly lit bylanes of New York.
Jimmy and Shawn have been partners in crime in the past.
The characters are on the expected line. Mike, a retired boxer, drives rich around the city in a limousine, but his connect with the city and its history always pull him back to the point where he has to pacify his own self. Broke, lonely and instinctive, Jimmy wants to make up for his earlier mistakes but it's not possible. Shawn Maguire has to seek revenge for his son's death, but that will have repercussions beyond imagination. All these characters are expected to cross each other's path and that is when they are going to be at their vulnerable best. The deadly ghettos and biased police officers are not going to help either.
Jimmy doesn't want his son Mike to pay the price for his deeds.
The not-so-posh areas of New York have always been a subject of interest for filmmakers who draw their inspiration from the underworld. Once again, the city of New York is visible with all its wealth and paradoxes. From Martin Scorsese to Spike Lee, some of the finest storytellers have tried to capture the essence of New York suburbs via their frames, so the director Jaume Collet-Serra's take on the same may not hit you hard, but he has been successful in inducing the thrill of the chase through narrow streets and the class divide that sometimes make it difficult for a person to run away from his past.
It's do or die for Jimmy in the end.
The moment Run All Night begins with Neeson having flashes of a dramatic chase, you start expecting the end, and it hampers the curiosity level of the audience. Neeson is an actor with a great understanding of cinematic movements, and he proves it again. His tough exterior hides and reveals soft emotions fantastically. His cool, calm and composed demeanour is the spine of this story which can be pitched as 'a bloody feud between two mobster bosses.' However, he is the only good thing about the film which refuses to be subtle and in-depth. His relationship with Joel Kinnaman appears fabricated rather than natural. On the other hand, Ed Harris and Liam Neeson seem on the same plane and their conversation lightens up the otherwise dull story. In all this, Joel Kinnaman emerges as the weakest link of the story.
Run All Night is dark but not very delectable despite Liam Neeson trying his best to save the film. It's one man show and there is not much to watch beyond his towering presence.
Listen to Run All Night OST
(Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/@nawabjha)