Movie: Run All Night
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)
Review: Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) , once a feared hit man in New York City known as The Grave Digger, has fallen on hard times. He’s well past his prime, he’s been hitting the booze hard, and hasn’t enough money to pay his bills. His boss and lifelong friend Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris) keeps him around out of loyalty, and Shawn’s son and business heir Danny (Boyd Holbrook), treats Jimmy like he’s a pathetic loser. When Jimmy asks for a loan, Danny agrees, but only if Jimmy will be the Santa Claus for a group of kids. Naturally a booze soaked Jimmy Conlon does not fare well with the kiddies and is viewed by the party goers with a mixture of pity and embarrassment.
The seeds of trouble are sown when Danny wants to show his father what a grown-up player he is, and contribute to the family business. He arranges a business meeting with his father and some heavy duty drug dealers, but the elder Maguire sends them packing, wanting nothing to do with the drug trade. Danny is royally pissed, shoves some drugs up his nose, and ends up committing some crimes in front of a witness. The witness just happens to be Jimmy’s son Mike (Joel Kinnaman), a limo driver who had disowned his father years ago. But drugs, anger, guns and ego don’t mix well, and soon Mike Conlon’s life is in danger and he is on the run. And the only person who can possibly protect him is the father he loathes, Jimmy Conlon.
This is not a bad movie, just a bit simplistic. They sacrificed plot development to squeeze in the maximum action sequences, which is a common problem with so many movies today. This is a shame with this movie, as they have a better than average cast with Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman from AMC’s The Killing fame, veteran character actor Bruce McGill, and the gorgeous Genesis Rodriquez. They even squeezed in a scene with Nick Nolte, although it was hard to tell if Nolte was acting the part of a broken down old boozer or just acting natural.
Huh? What the….: For an old geezer who can barely function, Neeson sure manages to kick ass and take names all night long. I guess booze to The Grave Digger is like spinach to Popeye.
Dialogue Nuggets: Shawn – “I had to kill people I loved because I couldn’t trust them anymore.”
Jimmy – “I’ve done terrible things in my life, things for which I can never be forgiven.”
Small kid – “Santa smells funny.”
Detective – “You better be on a flight to Shangri-La!” Jimmy – “I tried, the flight was full.”
Shawn to Jimmy – “Wherever we’re going … when we cross that line we’re going together, me and you.”
Best Scene: There is plenty of the usual shoot ’em up stuff in the film, but the ultra gritty mano a mano fight to the finish in a subway men’s room is a terrific scene.