Run All Night Blu-ray Review
Liam Neeson is one of the more unlikely action heroes in cinema history. When you look at him, you just can’t picture it. But in the last decade, I and many others look forward to his heroic exploits. The problem with this is you tend to repeat yourself. That is the issue I have with RUN ALL NIGHT. There is nothing really original about it. It’s fine, but I expected more.
Neeson plays an ex-hitman and enforcer named Jimmy. Jimmy has quit that racket, but he is a shell of himself. He’s a drunk and he doesn’t have a good relationship with his son Mike (Joel Kinnaman). Jimmy is spiraling out of control with no safety net. He is still tormented by the people who he has killed in the past. We first see Jimmy in dire straits. He’s shot and looks to be headed for death. We then backtrack a half a day to see how he got there. I have never liked this tactic. It basically gives away the outcome and you pretty much know that he’s going to get out of any predicament before this.
The first few hours are spent with a drunken Jimmy falling over himself. He embarrasses himself as a Santa for the kids. He was asked to do this by his best friend Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris). Jimmy used to work for him and Shawn is now trying to go legitimate. Shawn’s son Danny (Boyd Holbrook) is headed down a dark path of crime. Danny brings Shawn some possible business with Albanians regarding heroin and the safe passage of it in the docks. Shawn rejects the deal putting Danny in a bind. Danny had taken money, so they could get the meeting with Shawn.
Meanwhile Mike is making his way the best that he can. He runs a gym and mentors youths that don’t have fathers. He also moonlights as a limo driver. That is where he gets into trouble. On this night he’s taking a couple of Albanians to where they are going to collect from Danny. Danny has other ideas and kills the men. Mike unfortunately sees him kills one of the guys. Danny tries to kill Mike, but he gets away. Danny though knows where he lives with his dropped identification.
Shawn tries to get Danny to drop it and he also calls Jimmy to have Mike not say anything about the affair. Danny has other ideas though as kids tend to do when listening to their parents. Danny attempts to kill Mike once again, but Jimmy kills him just in time. This sets the whole thing in motion. Shawn has revenge on his mind and is hell bent on killing both Jimmy and Mike for what Jimmy did.
The film definitely has an appropriate title. All of the combatants run through New York throughout the night. There is action in the subway, buildings, lake houses and even Madison Square Garden. They throw in the obligatory car chase scene. For me, these scenes never do anything for me anymore. After seeing classic car chases with Gene Hackman and Steve McQueen, anything that has followed is so passé. The cars race up and down crowded New York streets and seem to miss numerous vehicles after running through red lights and going off the road. I guess I want some realism there.
During the course of the proceedings, Shawn hires super hit man Mr. Price (Common) to get the job done. This action seems to go against what Shawn says to Jimmy in the diner earlier, but I guess that is immaterial. Mr. Price is a bit too much of a superman here. He seems to escape death at every corner and has the highest tolerance for pain. There is a long sequence in a building where everyone involved avoids capture by the cops and destroys a flight or two. I think I have similar problems with the Jimmy character. He was drunk just a few hours earlier and in horrible shape. Then suddenly he’s sprite and sober as a monk. He too shoots and punches numerous people without too much damage to himself. Well he does throw in some scratches and a limp, but he’s not too much worse for wear. This cat and mouse game continues on for a good while. You think it is over, but no they have to throw in one more shootout. And that is where the first scene ruins any surprise. That’s a shame.
RUN ALL NIGHT is a decent action flick with solid performances by the three main leads. It just doesn’t advance the genre at all. But you could certainly do worse than this.
Video: New York looks great on the screen. It just glistens in the night.
Audio: The sound was acceptable. There is quite a bit of action on the screen and you do feel every car crash, gunshot and bones cracking.
Shoot All Night (10:26): This is a feature about the film. The filmmakers and actors discuss making the movie at night. The setting of New York is touched upon. You also have talk about the action scenes and stunts.
Liam Neeson: Action All Night (6:09): The filmmakers and actors sing the praises of Neeson. The director talks about the familiarity of working with Neeson again. Stunts are gone over as well.
Deleted Scenes (16:20): This is one of the more interesting deleted scenes features. You have six scenes in all. You have a longer flashback scene with Jimmy and Shawn. There’s a longer scene with Price. There is a fascinating scene with Uncle Eddie. Here you see they changed a line in the final product. Instead of killing his own brother, Jimmy killed a cousin. That changes the complexion of the scene quite a bit. You also have an extended hospital scene with Jimmy and his mother. That changed line extended out to this scene. It’s possible that the hospital scene was cut and that was the action that spurred the line change. There are also a couple more scenes with Shawn at the hospital and in his basement. It gives a bit more background on him.