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Run All Night (2015) Movie Review

Updated on January 13, 2020
Noel Penaflor7 profile image

I Write These Movie Reviews Locked in the Trunk of Your Car. Thanks for the Snacks!!

 
 
MPAA Rating
R
Running Time
114 minutes
Director
Jaume Collet-Serra
Writer
Brad Ingelsby

In the newest retelling of the classic Cinderella story, Liam Neeson stars as a former killer trying to assuage his guilt by killing every cop, woman, child and Ed Harris in order to protect his son. In a complete about face from the roles he’s taken on recently, Neeson portrays a 62-year old man who would murder you just because he hasn’t killed anyone in 10 minutes.

Case in point: Last January, Neeson asked me if I was going to see Taken 3. I said no because my grandmother was dying. He then killed my grandmother. Then he asked me again if I was going to see Taken 3. I replied yes because there was an unexpected opening in my schedule. Taken 3 sucked. Neeson then killed me.

Just so you know, Run All Night is a lot more entertaining than Taken 3. Even if you don’t like it, I’m sure in 48 hours there’ll be another Liam Neeson movie released which I’ll see because I don’t want to be killed by Liam Neeson again.

Synopsis

Run All Night opens during Christmas. Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) is pretty pathetic. He’s a former hitman haunted by the phantom-like menacing ghosts of all the people he’s killed. He drinks (he’s Irish, so yeah…). And he needs money. Also, he hasn’t seen his son Michael in years. As far as Christmas goes, this is pretty average.

Jimmy needs to borrow money from his boss and best friend Sean “Jerry” Maguire (Ed “Unnecessary Quotation Marks” Harris).

Speaking of Sean, his son Danny (Boyd Holbrook) is stupid. Danny wants in on the family business and not to be ridiculed by his father. The movie would have you believe that Sean is a powerful crime boss so Danny thinks it’s a good idea if, for a substantial cut, some generic European drug dealers do their business in Sean’s territory.

Sean says no because drugs are bad for business and he’s trying to go legit. He calls Danny stupid and throws the generic European drug dealers out of his house.

But what Sean doesn’t know is that Danny has already taken(!) the generic Europeans’ money, and they’re going to want it back if there’s no business to be business-ing.

They’ll be by Danny’s house later to pick up the money. This is important because…

Michael Conlon (Joel “Robocop” Kinnaman) is a limo driver who has to work unexpectedly because his coworker hurt himself. He has two daughters and his wife Gabriela (Genesis Rodriquez) is pregnant. He drinks (he’s Irish, so yeah…) Also, he hasn’t seen his father Jimmy in years. This would be a bad time for something bad to happen.

Michael just happens to be driving some generic Europeans to Danny’s house.
The Europeans want their drug money back. As a gluten-free alternative, Danny decides to shoot and kill them.

Michael hears the gunshots but inadvertently runs into Danny. Danny tries to kill him but Michael escapes, cursing his co-worker who probably wasn’t really injured in the first place but is more than likely watching that Grumpy Cat movie with Aubrey Plaza as the voice of Grumpy cat.

Sean finds out what happens. Curses his son for being a nappy-headed stupid face. Tells Danny to lay low and not try and kill Mike.

Sean finds out what happens. Curses his son for being a nappy-headed stupid face. Tells Danny to lay low and not try and kill Mike.

Sean Facetime’s Jimmy. Says there was some kind of misunderstanding and some drug dealers were killed and Mike might have seen it all go down and Danny might be coming over to kill him even after he expressly told him not to but you know kids today and then Sean posts pictures of coffee on Instagram.

Jimmy’s new Facebook Status: My son Mike just witnessed a murder by my best friend’s son Danny. Lol. #AWalkAmongTheTombstones #ChristmasBlues

Mike doesn’t see this status because he and his father aren’t Facebook friends.

Jimmy goes over to Mike’s house. Fills him in on what might be happening. This is awkward because they haven’t seen each other in years and one of the ornaments on Mike’s Christmas tree says, “My dad is not good”.

A couple of minutes later Danny drives up, gun in hand. Danny tries to shoot Mike but instead Jimmy shoots Danny.

Danny are you okay/Are you Okay Danny/You’ve been hit by/You’ve been struck by/A Smooth Criminal.

Sleepovers are fun.
Sleepovers are fun.

To make sure Danny’ dead, Jimmy starts playing that dreadful Annie remake as the only way any person could stand 5 minutes of Annie is if he/she is no longer alive.

Because he’s so considerate, Jimmy calls up Sean and tells him he just shot and killed his son. Sean knows this is important because Jimmy usually texts instead of calls. Wait- Jimmy just texted Sean a pic of Danny with a huge bullet hole in his head. Death confirmed. 30 likes and 2 shares within 45 seconds.

Jimmy apologizes but says that he’s justified because Danny was trying to kill Mike.

Sean doesn’t care. The retribution will not be a slap on the (Schindler’s) wrist.

Now Jimmy and Mike are on the run from every crooked cop and gangster in New York. Thank goodness they’re not black, otherwise they would have been shot on sight. Being white, they’ve got a chance to clear themselves. They certainly find themselves in quite a pickle, but fortunately Jimmy has a particular set of dills, I mean, skills. You get the (Schindler’s) gist. Welcome to Thunderdome.

If only they can survive the night. Maybe get to a Quiznos to replenish their electrolytes. So tasty and easy on your wallet.

What Works With Run All Night

  • A sequence in a ghetto apartment building is the most harrowing 10-15 minutes of the entire movie. Director Jaume Collet-Serra (who directed Neeson in the ludicrously entertaining Unknown and last year’s entertainingly ludicrous Non-Stop) stages the sequence so effectively it’s only moments after the it’s done when you acknowledge the implausibility of what you just watched. It’s also scary because my older white friends say the ghetto is scary. I’ve personally never been but I’ve heard things at parties when they’ll say “The ghetto is scary. You’ll get killed.” And then I’ll look online and confirm that yes, people have been killed in the ghetto. Older white people are so trustworthy.
  • After the movie, driving to the nearest Quiznos and have a sandwich. My personal favorite is the one where they have some meat and cheese between two slices of bread. Don’t let my opinion influence you, try your own with their thousands upon thousands upon millions of bread-cheese-meat combinations. Hell, you can do Cheese-meat and then bread. Just go crazy. Me and my favorite homeless person Homeless Chris went to Quiznos last week and had sandwiches galore. He died of frostbite later that night but I bet he enjoyed his sandwich.
  • Ed Harris- In retrospect, Harris isn’t onscreen for very long, but you feel his shadow throughout the entirety of the movie’s running time. For a movie filled with so much action, it’s the quieter scenes with him and Neeson that really resonate. You can tell Sean is just trying to go the straight and narrow, but you also see why he got such a terrifying reputation.

What Doesn’t Work With Run All Night

  • Rapper Common (you remember, the one who made everyone cry at the Oscars last month) shows up as a hired killer and looks like he belongs in an entirely different movie. Every time he appears you’re immediately taken out of the reality of the current scene.

Overall

Run All Night is a passably enjoyable thriller that will make you glad that Americans are in such great shape. You don’t have to run to the box office to have a good time this Friday the 13th weekend. You can drive, or just buy your tickets online as it’s the best Liam Neeson movie opening this week.

3 stars for Run All Night

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