Overall Grade (B-)
A well written crime-thriller with plenty of action and the always capable Liam Neeson toning down the skill-set just a tad for the sake of portraying a character who has weaknesses.
The first thing I thought of after I watched this film was that it delivered the true crime-thriller that his similarly toned, “A Walk Among the Tombstones” failed to do last year.
There was a gripping enough family saga mixed with the subculture of relationship dynamics in the boroughs where everyone knows one another create interest in the story-line. There was a good mix of characters and with the great cast they were portrayed with intriguing realism.
Liam Neeson was his usual bad-ass self in this slightly toned down action role and it was compelling to see him play a character with a flawed past and dependency issues. Other roles of his have teased this character-type but this film was the one that drew further into that spectrum for the personality of the lead antagonist with a villains past.
Joel Kinnaman was also very good in this film and is continuing to build his young resume with strong performances. Ed Harris was also very good and a perfect fit for his role and was highly believable. Not to be forgotten was Common who provided the film with a true antagonist as a calculating assassin. Vincent D’Onofrio popped in as well with an enjoyable yet smaller role. This collection of individuals gave a varied range of types and added to keeping the flow of the story interesting.
The chemistry among the cast was also very strong and throughout you can actually believe these characters have known each other and been friends for years all of which having a long history with one another. The pace of the story-line was very good, despite the all too common lull late in the second-act, but for the most part once the films takes off it really keeps going and gives you a little bit of everything along the way.
There were a handful of gritty gun-fights and some nice car chases that were well shot using some good angles. I also liked the panning technique used to set-up many of the scene intro’s, they were fun for the film added a nice visual flare and in my opinion further cemented the tone of the neighborhood geography of the borough and the congested region.
In the end “Run All Night” delivers a compelling crime tale with solid characters and regardless of some mild predictability, an enjoyable story-line. It was not excellent but definitely better than average plus Liam Neeson and Ed Harris are always fun to watch bringing their strong efforts to this project. They worked well onscreen together and even without the tense and adrenaline filled moments, watching them in their scenes commands your attention and add to making this one substantially better than average for the genre.