HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Run All Night
HTS Overall Score:80
I have to say this first. I really like Liam Neeson, especially since he became an action star. The crooked nosed, Irish, Ex-boxer has played in dramatic roles his whole life. Usually he stayed out of the A lister crowd, but he has a lucrative career since 1978 in everything from romantic comedies, to superhero flicks to historical dramas. It wasn’t until really late in his career that people found out just how imposing the 6 foot 4 inch man could be holding a gun and kicking people’s butts. After “Taken” took off Liam began putting out a solid action/thriller about once every year or so, and while many of them are fairly generic, they are at least entertaining and fun. That growling voicing and hulking body is perfect for the action environment and “Run All Night” utilizes those features along with the age of the actor to create a gritty mob thriller that, while generic, is about as fun and entertaining as his last outings (well, certainly more fun than “Taken 3”).
The film opens with one of those “ending of the movie at the beginning of the movie” sequences, with Liam Neeson dying on the ground mentally living through his regrets in life. Flash backwards to the almost 24 hours ago and we see that Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) is a washed up old man. Living by the good graces of mob boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris), Jimmy drinks his life and sorrows away, an old hit man who, 20 years ago, was one of the most feared men in New York. His son, Mike (Joel Kinnaman), hates his guts for the kind of man he is, and everyone else just pities the aging hitman. His only friend and comrade is Shawn. In a tragic turn of events, Mike ends up killing Shawn’s son, Danny (Boyd Holbrock) after Danny tries to kill Mike for seeing Danny murder someone. Knowing the game, Jimmy is willing to let Shawn take his vengeance out on him, but Shawn ups the ante and not only demands Jimmy’s life, but Mike’s as well. Not willing to let his son go down for his mistakes Jimmy turns on his former boss and friend, taking to the streets in a last ditch effort to keep what little family he has left alive. Tearing up the streets as Shawn sends man after man after the pair, Jimmy does his best at keeping Mike out of his shoes. Shooting, kicking and stabbing his way through your standard crew of faceless hitmen and thugs, they soon come to the realization that running isn’t the option. Finally taking that last step, Jimmy gets Mike out of the way, and the hunted soon becomes the hunter.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=47146[/img]The movie is about as formulaic as the last several of Liam Neeson’s action flicks. The guy is starting to lose his speed with age and some aching joints, so there is more quick cuts to make it seem like he’s kicking more butt than he actually is. The villains are cookie cutter and even the acting is pretty bland. Ed Harris gives the best performance as Shawn, the cruel and vicious mob boss who will kill even his best friend if it means avenging a son that even HE knows is no good. Joel Kinnaman proves once again that there are plastic bags with more acting talent and Liam Neeson utilizes those special set of skills, in a way that only he knows how (complete with scowl and growling voice). Now, with the above descriptions you would think this movie is some awful B-grade piece of garbage, and while it is certainly predictable, it still is plenty of fun. I mean, who doesn’t want to see Liam Neeson go on a shooting rampage, pistol whipping bad guys and making slightly smart alecy remarks to villains just before he puts a bullet in the head. I never felt un entertained and even through a few eye roll moments, I had a great time cheering for the old hit man to take out the assassins after him.
There’s some ups and downs in the plot. It takes a little bit to get going, spending more time in drama/thriller territory than actual action. We watch Jimmy’s unraveling life meet with his son’s and then once they go on the run is when the action heats up and the bullets start flying. I was a TAD disappointed with Vincent D’Onofrio’s cop character, and much like Forest Whitacker in “Taken 3”, he felt wasted in his role. It may not be top tier cinema, but if you like Liam Neeson’s latest action/thrillers than you will be well satisfied with “Run All Night”.
Rated R for strong violence, language including sexual references, and some drug use
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=47154[/img]Warner’s 2.40:1 framed Blu-ray disc is exceptional from start to finish. The movie is set at night for 90% of the time and I can almost see the writers typing out “It was a dark and stormy night” as the film stays REALLY dark and REALLY stormy. The blacks are really important in a night time film like this, and they thankfully stay very deep and inky. Once or twice I noticed some black crush, but night time banding was nonexistent and fine detail was readily apparent at all times. There’s a nice blue color grading to the dark moments of the film, but when we get into the light it changes to a more orange grading, that uses boosted whites and contrast to create a sort of shimmery shiny look to the film stock. It’s a great encode from start to finish and while it is heavily stylized, that stylization never takes away from the great looking image.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=47162[/img]“Run All Night” was given a very robust and very detailed 7.1 DTS-HD MA lossless mix, one that sounds excellent, with deep throbbing waves of LFE coupled with a very active and immersive sound field. The dialog is never unbalanced, allowing us to hear Neeson’s gravely growls and Kinnaman’s attempt at an American accent despite the actor’s low voices. Gun shots ring out with authority and weight, feeling as if they can take down the walls with just the sonic effects of the guns. The score accentuates those gun shots, pumping a heavy bass intensive sound into the film when the action picks up, and slides into the background during the quieter moments. Surrounds are full of life with bullets tearing chunks of trees behind the actors and the bustling sound of New York City reverberating from all sides. Top notch from beginning to end, it complements the stellar video quite nicely.
• Shoot All Night
• Action All Night
• Deleted Scenes
“Run All Night” is formulaic, predictable and certainly not going to win academy awards, but these action movies that Liam Neeson have been churning out over the last decade are really never meant to be anything more than a decent popcorn movie, and that’s exactly what “Run All Night” is. The action is hard hitting, there’s a few sweet father/son moments in the film and the audio/video experience is top notch from Warner Brothers. The only think that was rather disappointing in the whole package is the lack of any substantial extras. Certainly worth a fun actiony rental.
Starring: Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman
Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra
Written by: Brad Ingelsby
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 7.1, French, Spanish, Portuguese DD 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 114 minutes
Own “Run All Night” on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on June 16 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Buy Run All Night On Blu-ray at Amazon
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