Liam Neeson continues his run as an action hero with the new thriller “Run All Night.”
Neeson stars as Jimmy Conlon, an aging hitman who — in his prime — was the best friend and right-hand man of mob boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris). Maguire now lives a life of luxury while claiming to be a legitimate businessman. Jimmy sleeps in a bar because he can’t afford heat in his dingy apartment, haunted by the faces of all the people he’s killed.
Jimmy is estranged from his son Mike (Joel Kinnaman), who lives a modest life with wife and two children and earns money driving for a limousine service. Shawn would be better off estranged for his son Danny (Boyd Holbrook), a cruel punk who wants to get dad back into the drug business.
When Danny’s business deal goes south because Shawn rejects it, Danny kills the man with whom he was trying to make the deal. Mike witnesses the murder and now Danny decides he has to kill the witness. But before he can pull the trigger on Mike, Jimmy pulls the trigger on him.
Despite their lifelong friendship, Shawn declares Jimmy’s son must die as repayment for Danny’s death. Jimmy and Mike run off into the night, determined to stay alive as Shawn marshals all his goons against them.
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, “Run All Night” is about the most straightforward movie I’ve seen in some time. There are no twists and turns. Everything goes down exactly as you’d expect. There’s the car chase; the bad-ass, seemingly indestructible assassin (Common); there’s bad cops and that one good cop who’s been dogging Jimmy for years; a cabin in the woods; there’s even a cat-and-mouse game at a deserted railroad yard.
Yet for all its predictability, I enjoyed “Run All Night.” It delivers all the action and thrills it promises. Nothing more, nothing less. Neeson and Harris are reliable as always. I’m not as familiar with Kinnaman but he held his own.