Richard Roeper Blog

‘Run All Night:’ A great-looking film, A-

I’m Richard Roeper and coming up next, Liam Neeson has to go “Non-Stop” before he’s “Taken” and he’ll have to take a “Walk Among the Tombstones.” It’s my review of “Run All Night,” right now.

At 62, Liam Neeson is arguably the baddest tough guy in all of movies. (I’d say the 60-year-old Denzel Washington is his main competition). And even though it feels as if we’ve seen this movie before, “Run All Night” is a stylish and kinetic thriller, with Neeson at his gritty, world-weary best, some of the coolest camera moves in recent memory and a Hall of Fame villain in the great Ed Harris.

Neeson’s Jimmy Conlon, once the most feared hit man in the New York underworld is now a broken-down, booze-soaked joke. He’s allowed to hang around only because of his lifelong friendship with Brooklyn mob boss Shawn Maguire, played by Ed Harris, in a perfectly modulated performance.

When Jimmy’s estranged son Mike happens to witness Shawn’s no-good son Danny gunning down an Albanian heroin dealer, relationships change with the crack of a gunshot.

From that moment, it’s a 16-hour marathon, with Mike reluctantly teaming up with his father to avoid the army of thugs trying to kill them, and the scores of cops who believe Jimmy and Mike have committed murder.

This is one great-looking film. An extended sequence shot in the projects is expertly choreographed. A car chase becomes almost darkly funny when a civilian car is chasing a squad car with its lights flashing. The hand-to-hand fight scenes are brutally effective. A Rangers-Devils game at Madison Square Garden becomes the setting for an innovative escape scene.

Joel Kinnaman was wasted in the unnecessary reboot of “Robocop,” but he shows big-time movie star chops as Jimmy’s son. Vincent D’Onofrio is terrific as a veteran detective who has been trying to nail Jimmy for decades. Genesis Rodriguez does fine work in a smallish role as Mike’s pregnant wife.

Front and center, of course, is our man Liam, who is bloodied, bruised and battered, but keeps on coming. Neeson doesn’t try to win us over or make us believe Jimmy is experiencing a come-to-Jesus moment. He’s a killer at the end of the road, doing whatever he has to do ensure his son doesn’t become his last victim. I give “Run All Night” an A-.

I’m Richard Roeper and you can get all my reviews at richardroeper.com and on YouTube!

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