Liam Neeson plays Jimmy Conlon, a former hitman who is increasingly struggling with feelings of guilt as the faces of his victims haunt him in his dreams . While Jimmy never managed to step up to the next level and become a bigtime criminal, his childhood friend Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris) succeeded in doing just that. When Shawn’s son Danny (Boyd Holbrook) is about to kill Jimmy’s estranged son Mike (Joel Kinnaman), Jimmy steps in at the last minute and shoots Danny to save his own son. As soon as Shawn finds out, he sends all his men after Jimmy & Mike to kill them, including cold-blooded killer Price (Common) who may be even more lethal than Conlon himself. Father & son who haven’t spoken in years now have to run for their lives through the New York night.
‘Run All Night’ is a run of the mill action movie that provides plenty of entertainment, yet it too often feels like a straight to dvd movie that only ended up in cinemas because of its A-list cast. Besides plenty of action it does feature some interesting plot points though; A hitman haunted by guilt, two childhood friends who suddenly become sworn enemies, and the relationship between Conlon and the detective who is chasing him (Vincent D’ Onofrio), who suddenly becomes the only person Jimmy knows he can trusts as this is the only cop who is definitely not in Maguire’s pocket (otherwise he would never have tried to catch him). If these ideas would have been properly worked out, this could have been a gripping crime thriller. Unfortunately, all of the above plot points have been pushed to the side for more chase scenes and shootouts. As a result, ‘Run All Night’ delivers exactly what the title promises, but nothing more.
Still, this is a big step forward again for Neeson after last year’s abysmal ‘A Walk Among The Tombstones’ and the disappointment of ‘Taken 3’ earlier this year. The 62-year old Irishman recently mentioned he plans to retire from the action genre in two years from now, but no one should be surprised if he keeps shooting baddies on the big screen for a bit longer than that; after all, he does seem to have a great working relationship with director Jaume Collet-Serra, as this is already their third collaboration after ‘Unknown’ and ‘Non-Stop’. But where these movies provided an entertaining mix of action and suspense with some unexpected (albeit very far-fetched) plot twists, ‘Run All Night’ is just straightforward action without any weird twists.