Brooklyn mobster and prolific hit man Jimmy Conlon, once known as The Gravedigger, has seen better days. Longtime best friend of mob boss Shawn Maguire, Jimmy, now 55, is haunted by the sins of his past—as well as a dogged police detective who's been one step behind Jimmy for 30 years. Lately, it seems Jimmy's only solace can...more
Brooklyn mobster and prolific hit man Jimmy Conlon, once known as The Gravedigger, has seen better days. Longtime best friend of mob boss Shawn Maguire, Jimmy, now 55, is haunted by the sins of his past—as well as a dogged police detective who's been one step behind Jimmy for 30 years. Lately, it seems Jimmy's only solace can be found at the bottom of a whiskey glass. But when Jimmy's estranged son, Mike, becomes a target, Jimmy must make a choice between the crime family he chose and the real family he abandoned long ago. With Mike on the run, Jimmy's only penance for his past mistakes may be to keep his son from the same fate Jimmy is certain he'll face himself…at the wrong end of a gun. Now, with nowhere safe to turn, Jimmy just has one night to figure out exactly where his loyalties lie and to see if he can finally make things right. less
“Run All Night is Liam Neeson's redemption for the drivel that was Taken 3. ”
There's surely a personal angle to the kind of roles Liam Neeson has been recurrently playing of late (drunken, guilt-stricken man who's tired of all the fighting business, but circumstances force him to continue anyway) and it's astonishing how most, if not all, of those movies turn out to be very interesting (The Grey, Non-Stop, A Walk Among The Tombstones...) Run All Night is no different. We're introduced to Jimmy, a typical Neeson character, stuck in a limbo, downing drinks while mumbling philosophical ruminations on guilt, family, etc. This time around, he has to go off against his mentor and closest ganglord friend, whose Sonny Corleone-like gangster son Jimmy must kill in order to save his own son who's chosen to cut himself off from his father's ugly line of business (any guesses what Jimmy's son is called? Michael. Duh.) This isn't The Godfather, though (although there's a similar Solozzo-like premise which kicks off the plot here.) This isn't a movie where the old Don displays a feeling of satisfaction when his son takes over his crime business. Jimmy's primary struggle is to keep his Michael away from this world, even though the circumstances try their best to drag him in. There's a stunning moment when Jimmy prevents Michael from killing someone, taking the shot himself. This could be his 100th kill for all that matters, but Jimmy doesn't want Michael to take his first. A certain dialogue about crossing lines is uttered quite a few times in the movie. Apart from The Godfather, allusions to gangster classics are plenty, including the coffee table conversation between De Niro and Pacino in Michael Mann's Heat to the strong current of sticking to principles in Martin McDonagh's In Bruges, but this is first and foremost an action movie. Director Jaume Collet-Serra continues to impress with his superb staging of action scenes. Hell, the guy surely does know how to build tension. Here he doesn't have the benefit of the constraint of a single confined set (as in the aeroplane in Non-Stop,) and he stages gripping setpieces from a stunning car chase in the opening portions to a building being raided by cops. There's much in common with Neeson's characters of late and recurrent themes in Christopher Nolan's films. (Memento and Inception had protagonists guilt-ridden due to their wives' deaths, Bruce Wayne blames himself for Rachel's death and Cooper can't get over the fact that he wasn't there for his kids) The idyllic vision of family life Collet-Serra constructs here is straight out of Inception, what with the kids feeding the ducks and playing hide and seek. And although Jimmy doesn't find the kind of closure Dom Cobb eventually did, he goes down in a resonant In Bruges-like showdown with the feeling of satisfaction that he's put things in order.