<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Director Jaume Collet-Serra. Starring Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman, Robert Boyd Holbrook, Genesis Rodriquez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Holt McCallany, Common
Yet another dad protecting his kid action film with Liam Neeson in a role and a film that we’ve all seen plenty of times before.
Liam Neeson looks like he’s going to be a crotchety old man soon. Hobbling along trying to pound bad guys into a pulp while protecting his family is growing old, just like his characters. If we talk about being typecast in Hindi films then we can also say Hollywood has certainly typecast Neeson in the worst possible way. He’s become a cliché.
In Taken 3 Neeson was protecting his daughter from the bad guys and in Run All Night he’s playing Jimmy Conlon, a bedraggled old hit man, protecting his estranged son Michael (Joel Kinnaman) from the very people Jimmy works for. That being his boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris) whose son is killed and Jimmy and Michael are chased through the streets by cops and baddies. The strange thing is that when Jimmy goes and has a drink with Shawn, they don’t bother capturing him. They let him walk out and then start chasing him, presumably to let the film saunter on for another hour of dull goons chasing this dim-witted father-son duo.
Jeume Collet-Serra (Non Stop) tries to establish a friendship between Jimmy and Shawn but fails to establish enough back-story for us to care. It makes little sense to show us a bullet-ridden Shawn (Harris) being cradled by Jimmy (Neeson) because Jimmy is the one who did the shooting.
Joel Kinnaman’s face is so lacklustre and his character so shallow that you can’t even call him a second lead. Common (stage name) as the ‘Terminator-like’ assassin is more memorable if a little ridiculous as he guns down policemen and keeps up his pursuit for Jimmy who he’ll kill ‘for nothing’ but we never find out why.
Law & Order: Criminal Intent’s Vincent D’Onofrio as the cop who wants to get Jimmy is interesting but why he would want to help him is never established since we never see any redeeming qualities from the hit man who has a long list of families he’s devastated. In fact, there is so little story on who Jimmy actually is that you can only see big daddy Neeson protecting his son from bad guys. There are no layers to the plot or the characters.