I am incredibly thankful that Liam Neeson decided to release more than one action film this year. It's almost as if he's trying to make us forget Tak3n. Or Taken 3. Or whatever the hell you want to call that atrocious piece of nothingness. Run All Night follows the story of Jimmy (Liam Neeson). He's out of luck, friends and money. He's confronted with a situation that forces him to murder the son of an old friend of his, Shawn (Ed Harris). After Shawn hears the news, he decides to come after Jimmy's son, forcing Jimmy to take action and fight back to help save his son's life.
Liam Neeson's recent run of action films can go either way with me. None of them are extremely groundbreaking or original, but they're fun. Then there's the Taken sequels and I'd rather not waste too much more of your time talking about those monstrosities. I love Liam Neeson. Who doesn't? His films don't require much thought process, but I'm okay with that. I went into Run All Night not really sure what to expect. Sure, I'd seen the trailer and it was a fine trailer, but it was also very generic. Run All Night starts out less generic than it has you believing. The only problem here is that as the film goes on, it just begins to become more and more familiar, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't fun.
While the dialogue proves itself to be rather interesting, the plot follows an all too familiar path. Like I said, this film starts out in a way I did not expect. Sure, it's slow, but it's so unlike Liam Neeson. His character is a slob, but when shown in a sympathetic light, I was able to care for him and be intrigued with where his story was going. Then the film continues to go on, the action increases in quality and this "slob" we saw at the start turns into a badass. I have no problem with a badass Liam Neeson. I've seen him play that character in plenty of films, but it just seems different to the character we're shown to begin with.
But when we do get the same old Liam Neeson character we've seen a hundred times before, the film actually turns things up a notch. The action is sleeker, the violence brutal and my enjoyment went through the roof. You could probably question the logic and coherence here and there, but whatever. After Non-Stop, I've learnt my lesson to just go along with films like this, no matter how stupid they do become.
On top of action, Run All Night also brings with it a sold family element and storyline. There are action films out there where a family backstory or relationship problem is crammed in there for the sake of having more than just giant explosions on screen, look at A Good Day to Die Hard for example. Run All Night, thankfully, manages to make it's family element work well. There's a rich backstory between all of the characters, the most dominant ones being between Jimmy and his son, and Jimmy and Shawn. They're not detailed, but you can always sense its presence. This is something that puts Run All Night well above recent action flops such as Tak3n, A Good Day To Die Hard and other rubbish cash grabs like those.
To sum up, Run All Night follows a predictable path and can occasionally delve into idiotic territory, but with a solid backstory and family element, plenty of engaging action and another great performance from Liam Neeson, the film is a lot of fun.