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A happily married man's life is turned upside down when his wife is killed in a mysterious hit-and-run accident in Tel Aviv. Over 1, unmissable movies available instantly On Demand. My Account. Discover more about our Passes. Sky Sports. Rather than just skip to the chase, Collet-Serra and his screenwriter Inglesby invest in a more character-driven narrative than may be expected. A pivotal scene has Jimmy confessing to Danny's murder shortly after Shawn returns from the morgue to identify his son's body, which poignantly expresses not just one father's grief and consequent thirst for revenge from the death of his son but also another father's paternal instinct to protect his family by whatever means possible.
Whereas 'Taken' pardon the pun the latter for granted, Collet-Serra wisely lets the polarising dynamic between Jimmy and Shawn define the conflict that ensues, giving both characters and their longstanding friendship turned brutal rivalry both shading and nuance.
Lest it be forgotten, Neeson and Harris are both accomplished actors in their own right, and both manage to find their characters' empathetic core. Collet-Serra understands Neeson's 'particular set of skills' in playing the fallible hero, and gives his lead actor space and breadth to explore his character's vulnerabilities and motivations — even bringing in an unbilled Nick Nolte to add patriarchal weight to the proceedings.
Kinnaman doesn't get enough quiet scenes with Neeson for their father-son relationship to develop into something truly compelling, but the actors share a good rapport that give the action scenes added emotional texture. And in that department, Collet-Serra doesn't disappoint. Reining in the hand-held shots that made the last 'Taken 3' an absolute nightmare to watch even on the big screen, Collet-Serra fashions a couple of impressive sequences that make full use of its New York locale.
A thrilling cop-car chase through the streets of Brooklyn easily puts 'Taken 3's' highway chase to shame, while a high-rise apartment complex on fire provides a tense backdrop against which Jimmy and Mike attempt to protect a kid witness. There is also the iconic Madison Square Garden, which provides the scene for a daring escape right after a Rangers-Devils game, and heightens the Big Apple atmosphere while keeping the gritty noir-ish feel of the earlier scenes.
It is certainly tempting to see this as yet another attempt to cash in on Neeson's newfound action hero status, but 'Run All Night' distinguishes itself with some well-filmed setpieces to satisfy the adrenaline-hungry crowd while staying grounded with enough characterisation and good acting for its audience to be rooted with the characters on screen. It is also his best collaboration yet with Collet-Serra, who seems genuinely interested at making a movie tailored to the actor's strengths than simply cashing in on a fad.
Even and especially if you were disillusioned with 'Taken 3', 'Run All Night' is a good, solid slab of macho entertainment that should wash away the bitter taste of that over-the-hill franchise. Sign In. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends.
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