‘Run All Night’: Nothing to Rave About

March is the hardest time to find a really great film. No offense to “Run All Night,” but it is way too ordinary to start with anything else to say.  Despite its mediocre appeal, Liam Neeson and Ed Helms still come through as more than decent action stars – even in their older age.

Run All Night: Movie critic Evan Engel gave the 114-minute film released on March 13, 2 out of 5 possible stars.
Run All Night: Movie critic Evan Engel gave the 114-minute film released on March 13, 2 out of 5 possible stars.

When a film doesn’t have grabbing content in its story, the only real thing to talk about is the technical side. Yes, the cinematography was good, but the editing was even better.  The film’s post-production saved the film from totally sucking.  The poster even looks crisp.

With quick cuts and rapid dialogue, the picture bursts off to a blazing start.  Like anything in life, though, when you start fast, fatigue eventually catches up.  This was exactly the case for “Run All Night.”

Set in New York City, Jimmy Conlon (Neeson) is an ex-mobster turned alcoholic who has a destroyed relationship with his only son.  Jimmy’s former boss and childhood friend, Shawn Maguire (Ed Helms), has a son as well who is trying to make it in the mob business. When Danny (Shawn’s son) brings an Albanian drug dealer to his father, Shawn rejects the offer and makes his son look bad. The Albanians want the money they paid Danny off with back since their deal never went through.

Meanwhile, Michael Conlon is working at a boxing facility where he mentors aspiring boxers. On the side, he is also a limousine driver. When a client needs a ride (the Albanians from earlier), they ask to go to Danny Maguire’s house to get their revenge. One thing leads to the next after heavy gunshots fire from both sides. Danny eventually murders the head Albanian in front of Michael, who was in the parked car the whole time. Danny notices that Michael witnessed the entire act, forcing Michael to now be on the run. In the beginning of the film, Shawn tells Danny to start “cleaning his mess up himself.” So what does the genius do? He follows Michael to his house where Jimmy is trying to console his lost son. Michael, who wants no part of Jimmy in his life (he even calls him “Jimmy,” not dad) forces him to leave. Right as he’s leaving, Jimmy notices Danny’s car in the front. Just as Danny is breaking into the house and finds Michael as a sitting duck, Jimmy returns and shoots Danny in the neck before he can murder Michael.

Jimmy is forced to murder his great childhood friend’s son for the sake of saving his own son’s life. It’s a messed up plot, I know. It must’ve sounded brilliant on paper before it went into production.

From that point on, Shawn and Jimmy become enemies/friends/respected nemeses with each other.  The dialogue between the two on the phone is unsettling at times.  Like I mentioned earlier, the editing of brisk cuts kept it manageable to watch.

With corrupt cops at every corner and Shawn’s mobsters searching the whole city    

for the Conlons, the movie eventually hits its peak by the midpoint. From there, it tanks downhill, just like any March film. The title “Run All Night” might even subliminally suggest for you to run away from this movie.

The real honest question here, though, is how did Liam Neeson become a neo-action star with a common trait of his characters all having a chip on their shoulder? Oh, and all of his characters have an only child whom he’s trying to restore a broken relationship with.  It’s as if his movies keep

making money or something. The sarcasm alert is very high in this review if you haven’t noticed yet.

All in all, this picture isn’t much different than the next action movie. The writing was decent in some scenes, then painful in others. The acting wasn’t anything to rave about since we’ve already seen Neeson play this role in the “Taken” series.  Helms was enjoyable to watch, though. Hopefully there are better movies to come soon because for this one wasn’t the easiest to sit through in the theater. It was 25 minutes too long and aimed way too high for its own good.

Evan Engel
Staff Writer
Published March 25th, 2015