Just a couple of months ago, Liam Neeson was looking spent in the decidedly short-winded Taken 3, but the entertainingly brisk Run All Night happily shows that he still has the legs as cinema’s ruggedly heroic action dad.
At the film’s outset, however, the character he plays appears ready to drop. Washed-up Brooklyn hitman Jimmy the Gravedigger is now a whiskey-soaked embarrassment to his fellow mobsters, his days as the feared muscle for mob boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris) long past. But when his estranged grown-up son, Mike (Joel Kinnaman), becomes a target after witnessing a gang killing, Jimmy proves he hasn’t run to seed.
His brutally tenacious efforts to keep Mike alive are compressed into a single night, which gives Run All Night the kinetic urgency and sweaty-palmed suspense of Neeson’s better thriller outings (this is his third teaming with director Jaume Collet-Serra, maker of Unknown and Non-Stop). There isn’t much to the story beyond flight and fight, but Jimmy’s prickly relationship with his son ensures things don’t turn too sappy whenever there’s a lull in the action.
Certificate 15. Runtime 115 mins. Director Jaume Collet-Serra.