- by Jeff Beck
Run All Night: A Wildly-Entertaining Actioner (Blu-ray)
“Run All Night” is the kind of movie that you probably know whether you’re going to like or not before it even begins. How would you know this? Because it’s the same kind of film that we’ve seen from Liam Neeson over and over again for the past several years, running in the same vein as “Taken” (and its two sequels), “Non-Stop,” and “A Walk Among the Tombstones.” Whether it’s his family being threatened or something terrible needs to be stopped, Neeson’s always there to answer the call. This time around, he takes on the role of Jimmy Conlon, a hitman who works for mob boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris). When Jimmy’s son, Mike (Joel Kinnaman), witnesses Shawn’s son, Danny (Boyd Halbrook), murdering two foreign gangsters, Danny tries to cover his tracks by attempting to kill Mike. However, Jimmy manages to take out Danny first. Naturally, this doesn’t sit too well with Shawn, who swears revenge for his son’s death, causing Jimmy and Mike to go on the run as they try to sort out their rough predicament.
It should be said that “Run All Night” is probably not going to win any points for originality, but what it lacks in that department, it makes up for in just being a good-old-fashioned, entertaining flick that keeps you engaged in its tale of revenge and redemption. Of course, it has its share of problems, as films like this often do, resorting to some tired clichés (opening on a scene at the end of the film before flashing back, a father and son who haven’t spoken to each other in years, etc.) and stretching out the story to a nearly two-hour length when it could have easily run about 90 minutes, but they end up not getting in the way of one’s overall enjoyment of the film because screenwriter Brad Ingelsby (whose previous project was the far less successful “Out of the Furnace”) almost continually makes the story thrilling, propelling it forward at such a pace to where you don’t get a lot of chances to catch your breath. Like many of Neeson’s actioners of late, it’s not destined to become a landmark of his career, and there’s a distinct possibility that you may not even remember any details a week later, but it gets the job done, which is more than can be said about other films trying to be just like it.
“Run All Night” comes to Blu-ray in a 2.4:1, 1080p High Definition transfer of questionable quality. Throughout the feature, there is a noticeable blurriness to the picture, a problem that is even more visible in the nighttime scenes (and you needn’t look past the title of the film to determine when most of it takes place). It’s still watchable, but it definitely could have used a little more work to make the image a lot clearer. As for the 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, it’s a little soft, but as usual it’s a problem that can easily be solved by turning up the volume a little higher than usual. Afterwards, you are treated to a great track that presents all sound elements in great quality. Overall, while another pass needed to be done on the video, the film’s Blu-ray treatment balances out to an “ok” experience.
Shoot All Night: This is a rather superficial featurette that features interviews with the cast and crew discussing the making of the film. Other than an interesting look at how the car chase was filmed, there’s not much here to see.
Liam Neeson: Action All Night: A very brief featurette that is nothing more than a glorification of Liam Neeson by the cast and crew. Easily skippable.
Deleted Scenes: About 16 minutes of material, much of which was already in the film, but with little bits that didn’t make the cut. None of it is really worth looking at as it all feels rather superfluous.
“Run All Night” may not have the makings of a particularly memorable thriller, but with a highly-entertaining storyline that’s almost constantly at full-throttle, it makes for a rather enjoyable on-the-run/revenge flick. If you’ve been a fan of Neeson’s action flicks over the past few years (discounting the two disappointing “Taken” sequels, of course), then this is sure to give you just what you’re looking for.
Available on Blu-ray and DVD starting tomorrow.
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