By: Nick Salacki, Columnist
Mainstream Hollywood truly knows how to overuse the intense image of Liam Neeson and his raspy dark-toned voice. It’s quite embarrassing the way Neeson has been typecasted ever since the success of the “Taken” franchise, and now movies like “Run All Night” are repeatedly being mass produced.
Surprisingly, “Run All Night” is not totally what I expected. The way they sold this film, through my eyes, was with the idea of “Liam Neeson as a hunted down ex-hitman.” However, there seemed to be more in this film than just what we saw in the poster and the previews. Both made it seem like the film was just another big Hollywood Liam Neeson flick with no captivating substance, but to be honest, this father, son and family themed action flick is somewhat decent.
Supposed ageless action-star Neeson portrays Jimmy Conlon, an ex-mobster and hitman whose life gets turned around when his estranged son, Michael (Joel Kinnaman), gets innocently mixed up in a homicide situation. Setting aside their differences, Jimmy and Michael race against time to clear Michael’s name and keep his involved family safe.
As for the story, I believe it was crafted as best as it could’ve been. Not much original quality can come when one has Liam Neeson, a high-stakes action plot and a New York City setting. Regardless, underneath this fast paced story lies the theme of the love and redemption possible between a hated father and an estranged son of 15 years. I feel the love between them, but there is hardly any convincing depth within it.
Despite the lack of plot-driven emotion, the cinematography was well crafted and gave depth to the scene’s overall feeling, in both the many car and on-foot chases, and the slower scenes.
Overall, even though this unoriginal action plot has been dealt with time and time again, “Run All Night” wasn’t incredibly unbearable. I wouldn’t watch it again, but I encourage this movie to be seen by those who can appreciate a basic action flick. I give this movie two and a half out of five stars.