Run All Night makes you want to run back home.

By Rafael Abreu
Reel to Reel

“Run All Night,” directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and written by Brad Ingelsby, is an action thriller focusing on criminal Jimmy, played by Liam Neeson, protecting his son, Mike, played by Joel Kinnaman, from getting killed by other criminals, hitmen, and police.

Much to my surprise and disappointment, the film isn’t all that special.

For whatever reason, my expectations were a little high, thinking it would be a generally good and enjoyable film. For the most part, the film is good and enjoyable, but not something I would need to see again. Of course, that doesn’t make the film bad, but rather just another average film starring good actors.

The action in “Run All Night” is pretty good, although I felt the editing during the film’s only car chase could have been a bit better.

Everything is generally easy to track and looks good, especially scenes involving hitman Andrew Prince, played by Common, whose laser sight pistol makes an impression.

There are a few moments that don’t involve any guns and they’re handled pretty well. The direction works in general, but aside from a few interesting choices, like how the film portrays the changing of locations; it’s nothing exemplary.

One area I can give more praise to is the acting, with Neeson in usual brooding-but-butt-kicking form.

Kinnaman does a real good job in convincing me of who he is and that his past is a bit of a troubled one.

Ed Harris as Jimmy’s old friend and eventual enemy is very good, too, although it’s not like this role is some sort of breakthrough for him or anything.

Still, like Neeson, he does a good job with the material he’s given.

One of the actors that did surprise me was Common, mainly because he played the role so well. He may just be playing a hitman with no backstory or characterization, but it’s clear who he is and what he plans to do. He also manages to be memorable, thanks to what he wears and the weaponry he uses.

The film’s biggest problem has to be its story, which can be blamed on the direction.

The story, for the most part, is fine, but this sort of material probably could have been handled better, because the film moves at a brisk pace, and the editing made me feel like it was all in a hurry, with scenes sometimes moving too quickly.

However, there are also scenes that take their time, feature good camera positions, editing and the like. I think Collet-Serra felt the action scenes needed to be frantic when they really didn’t have to be, but at least it none of it ever gets disorienting.

“Run All Night” is an alright film, one that’s enjoyable, but not worth writing home about.


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