|'The film gives Collet-Serra a chance to stretch his Action wings a littler further, something which he delivers upon.'|
In this incarnation, the variation on the Neeson persona is 'alcoholic ex-hitman'. Jimmy (Neeson) used to run serious errands for Shawn (Ed Harris), whereas now his crew just make him dress up as Santa for Christmas festivities. Things get worse when, through a series of ill-construed mix-ups, Jimmy is forced to kill his antagonist and Shawn's son Danny (Narcos' Boyd Holbrook), to save his own son Mike (Joel Kinnaman). All is fair in brotherly love and war it seems, apart from when there's a dead son involved, Shawn giving Jimmy no choice but to go on the run with the non-criminal Mike in tow.
The film gives Collet-Serra a chance to stretch his Action wings a littler further, something which he delivers upon. Unknown might have had the odd good car chase, but it was still a fairly stock Euro Thriller, with the budget that entailed. Non-Stop was essentially a single location Thriller, confined to the limiting interior of an aircraft. Run All Night however, is much more expansive, taking in a night-time police chase through the streets of Brooklyn to start us off and moving on to a Judge Dredd-style tenement block traverse and a lakeside retreat ambush. The feeling given is similar to that of Running Scared, itself a good example of a little-promising Actioner that delivered more. The police chase in particular is well lit and clearly shot and it ends in a manner which complicates things further for the 'good' guys, through no particular fault of their own.
The director also has more luck in the support he can populate around his star. Kinnaman is unspectacular and certainly not a leading man, but in Neeson's company he's fine. Better is Vincent D'Onofrio, an actor who has upped his game recently, since stealing everything in Netflix's Daredevil. He shows up here as a gruff cop with a will he/won't he help Jimmy angle and is only let down by the fact that some of the minor supporting players get too little time; Common's assassin is similarly ill-served.
That matters little though when Neeson is flying (well... as much as an ageing, alcoholic hitman can 'fly') and Collet-Serra is pitching the thing up aimed directly at the 'maximum satisfaction' angle. It worked for me and I'd happily turn up if director and star decide to turn this in a quadrilogy.
Run All Night was playing on Blinkbox.