Run All Night

***

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Run All Night
"Pain has a price"

How many people have to die before Jaume Collet-Serra settles down and stops racing through the streets with a gun in his camera? Revenge is not sweet, my friend. It tastes of blood and fury.

Is this the latest in Liam Neeson's punch-till-you-drop action adventures, or something closer to a Scorsese rip off? It's neither, although the former feels more familiar as violence crackles like skin on a hot stove.

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Amongst mobsters loyalty matters most - loyalty and family. In Brad Ingelsby's script both are violated and so there can be only one outcome, one route to the final confrontation, Heat style.

Jimmy Conlon (Neeson) is a retired hitman, living out his twilight years in lonely isolation. There is no peace for the wasted, only bad dreams and the bottle. His son Mike (Joel Kinnaman) wants nothing to do with him. He works as a limmo driver in New York and it's during a job that he witnesses a murder.

What follows is predictable, with a cunning surprise embedded in the tramlines. The killer is the son of Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris), an old mob boss who employed Jimmy in the past as his No 1 assassin. Now it's war. Last man standing.

Harris is always good. He looks thinner, tired. Neeson, on the other hand, brings an authority to every role he takes, every character he portrays. Flair for his craft can be overlooked as Irish charm or star quality, which is what they said about James Stewart. This ignores a natural talent grown stronger with experience. In Jean-Claude Van Damme's world he's a giant. In Bruce Willis's he's a step up.

The film blows its fuse finally with too many deaths. You can beat the hell out of people, or blow their brains across the wall, but how's it possible to fight like this with a bullet in your shoulder?

Pain has a price, the price of a cinema ticket. Your choice. Remember to wipe the blade after use.

Reviewed on: 13 Mar 2015
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Mob revenge thriller in New York's bloody streets
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