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Run All Night


Stars: Liam Neeson, Joel Kinnaman, Ed Harris, Vincent D'Onofrio, Bruce McGill, Nick Nolte, Boyd Holbrook, Genesis Rodriguez, Common

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

As you might gather from the title, this is a pretty exhausting, if slickly made action film, with the ubiquitous Neeson for once on the wrong side of the law. He's Jimmy Conlon, a veteran hitman long estranged from his son Michael (Kinnaman) and rapidly losing a battle with the bottle.

His mentor, Shawn (Harris), a gangland boss turned semi-respectable businessman, for whom Jimmy has carried out many hits, gives him a demeaning job as a Santa Claus in return for a big loan, but Jimmy even bungles that. Shawn, however, has a wild son, Danny (brightly played by Holbrook), whose way out of a drug deal with Albanians that his father refuses to bankroll, is to shoot the dope dealers in cold blood.

Unfortunately, the last kill is witnessed by the limo driver who brought them - who happens to be Jimmy's son. Danny comes after Michael and is about to kill him when Jimmy turns up and shoots Danny dead.

The bond with Shawn - 'What do I always tell you? Wherever we're going, we cross the line together,' he comforts Jimmy earlier - is promptly snapped, and he vows to kill first Michael, then Jimmy himself. 'I'm coming after your boy,' he tells Jimmy, 'with everything I've got.'

Well, Neeson's not having that, even though the cops, headed by D'Onofrio - trying and failing to make something of his underwritten role - are on his tail, and Shawn himself has hired a ruthless killer (Common) to dispatch Michael.

There are no surprises in the action and gunplay that follow, but there's plenty of it, along with the obligatory (but well-staged) car chase. The director stuffs his film, which must also set a record for product placement, with dizzying overhead shots and whiplash zip-pans, as the action, literally drummed along by the soundtrack, just keeps on coming.

Neeson, handed a deeply flawed leading character for once, is completely at home in this familiar, hard-man's drama, which goes on more than a tad too long, although the producers are least to be congratulated on finding in Kinnaman an actor who actually does look tall enough to be Neeson's son.

David Quinlan

USA/Canada 2015. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers (Vertigo Films). Colour by Fotokem.
114 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 10 Mar 2015