Man On a Mission
Film: Run All NightCast: Liam Neeson, Ed Harris,
Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra
Duration: 1 hr 55 mins
Rating: * * *
Who would have thought that Liam Neeson will become an action hero of this mould in this phase of his career? The 62 year old may not have the six packs and the built of someone who can beat a dozen guys to pulp yet, post Taken (2008) most of his action films have made to the ‘entertaining’ grade and Run All Night is no different.
This film is the third collaboration between the actor and director Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown and Non-Stop being the other two) and they both seem to be in familiar territory. The story set during Christmas eve has Neeson play Jimmy Conlon, a hitman who has many crosses to bear, working for Sean, a gangster (Ed Harris). He has committed many crimes in the past and now he is loner of sorts and his estranged son Michael (Joel Kinnaman) doesn’t want the grandfather’s shadow to fall on his kids. Mike is exactly the opposite – he is a doting father and a hardworking family man while Jimmy is mostly drowning his sorrows.
Meanwhile, Sean’s son gets on the wrong side of some Albanian drug dealers and Mike becomes a witness to shooting and suddenly everything spirals out of control. Jimmy has to help Mike and his family who are being hunted down – from there on, we get to see a fair deal of action, car chases, shootout in an apartment building and corrupt cops with the odd one lending a helping hand.
There is little doubt that the character of Jimmy has been specially stitched for Liam Neeson and he has the ability to pull it off. He gets all is emotions right, whether it is of a whisky guzzler, a man looking for redemption or someone who will pull all stops to protect his family even if it means blindly pumping bullets. Even though he is a killer Jimmy is a likable character because he is played by Neeson.
Not quite sure what was the thought having those handheld cameras and the super fast cutting even during ordinary conversations at the beginning. They should have allowed the story to build up the pace (which eventually it does) rather than forcefully resorting to such editing techniques.
All said and seen, Run All Night is a smooth ride, at no point did I feel bored and that has pretty much become the hallmark of a good film these days.
Published in The Navhind Times, Goa on 29th March 2015www.twitter.com/sachinchatte