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Summary / Analysis
Times of India
Jimmy Conlon (Neeson) is a retired mafia hitman. He receives a call one night about his estranged son Mike (Kinnaman) being in mortal danger. While helping out his son, Jimmy kills his former boss Shawn's (Harris) son Danny (Holbrook). This sets Shawn and Jimmy on a collision course.
Mike's mother passed away a while back and his dad Jimmy sought solace in the bottom of a Scotch bottle, when not rubbing people off for a living. Now a limousine driver with a family of his own, Mike drops off two clients to an apartment and is then witness to a murder committed by Danny. The latter tries to kill Mike in his house, but Jimmy takes Danny out just in time. When Jimmy telephones Shawn and almost casually informs him that he has killed Danny, there are no temper meltdowns. Instead, there's just a mutual resignation towards the inevitable; Jimmy tells Shawn that they are going to approach the point of no return. What we then have is classic Neeson - rumbling voice and lumbering gait - all the way.
Mike's abandonment issues are convincingly portrayed. Jimmy's character is wonderfully nuanced and D'Onofrio's NYPD detective seems tailor-made. Lit by a thousand neon lights at night and soundtracked by the distant wailing of police sirens, Collet-Serra makes the mean streets of New York (Brooklyn and Queens, mostly) look surreal and fraught with danger at every turn. There's plenty of atmosphere to boot, thanks to cinematographer Martin Ruhe's interesting use of quadrants in his framing technique, adding to the movie's general sense of urgency. Run... is somewhat lacking in suspense, but that is forgivable.
We've seen Neeson play a tough-as-nails retired cop/hitman/special forces person who rescues various members of his family/public, who also finds his own redemption in the process, for a while now. But somehow, he manages to rock this role every single time, giving action heroes half his age a run for their money. It's like he's perfected it down to an art. Albeit an ageing ass-kicker, the Irishman clearly still has what it takes.
Collet-Serra directs from a screenplay by Brad Ingelsby (Out of the Furnace). The film is produced by Roy Lee (The Departed), Brooklyn Weaver (executive producer, Out of the Furnace), and Michael Tadross (Gangster Squad, Sherlock Holmes), with John Powers Middleton (Bates Motel) serving as executive producer alongside Collet-Serra.
Neeson admitted that the script hit a deeper chord with him, having sons who are at the age of discerning their own paths in life. “I can’t imagine losing their love or trust and I can relate to being willing to do anything—no matter what it takes—to get that back,” he said.
Harris was intrigued with the tale of retribution, regrets and redemption, and eager to work with Collet-Serra and Neeson. “I was glad they asked me to join them, I thought it would be fun. There’s an edge, but also an intimacy to the crazy night they get caught up in. Jaume knows how to weave the action and emotion together and I’ve always had a lot of admiration for Liam, so it was a great scenario all around,” he said.
The production design team created Shawn’s pub, the Abbey, which is the headquarters of the mob, out of three different locations: an exterior under the train on Jamaica Avenue, another exterior reverse under the train in Woodside, and an interior in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. They looked at many Irish bars in the boroughs, and quite a bit in Yonkers. Seymour recalls, “Once we had identified what we wanted for the exterior, our choices were limited to the elevated subway area. It took awhile, it was a complex puzzle, but we solved it.” The interior had the same feel as the exterior and a bigger, more dynamic space.
The interiors play out in the tight quarters of actual working class row houses in Ridgewood, Douglaston and Bellerose. The characters environments, except for Mike’s and his family’s, are in either a natural palette, like brick and wood, or in cool tones. Mike’s world is the only one that has really warm colors and “has this real sense of humanity to it,” says Seymour. “We wanted to reflect how they were doing economically, and that they were really struggling to get by. We found this house in Maspeth that was a single floor, small two-bedroom, and it just felt right. It had a lot of paneling. It just felt very much like a starter home. It was cramped, but full of life.”
The movie was shot over 48 nights even though the movie is about one night.
Another sequence was shot in the Linden Plaza Apartments in Brooklyn, where Mike’s young protégé, Legs (the African-American boy), lives. Seymour describes, “The New York City Housing Authority built a lot of the projects at the same time. When we originally started looking at them, they all have a cookie cutter look to them. But when pictures of this came up, it was just so striking and visually bold. It has these great balconies, which facilitated one of our more interesting action sequences.” During this part of the story, Neeson, Common, D’Onofrio and Kinnaman’s characters are all chasing each other through the interior and exterior of the massive multi-level complex. The building was difficult to control because of its size, and required huge lighting set-ups and crews. Multiple cameras and helicopters were employed all night and the two days there were the coldest and windiest of the entire shoot. And, finally, the night schedule meant residents would be in their apartments while they were filming.
One of the internal sequences at the same location required hand-to-hand combat in a burning apartment. Collet-Serra shares, “I had wanted to do a fight sequence in a burning room for a long time. It’s very difficult because it gets very hot, very quickly. There’s a lot of the smoke and the camera doesn’t really see through it.” But his actors were in for the long haul and no one complained.
'Run All Night' is the third collaboration between director Jaume Collet-Serra and star Liam Neeson.
Liam Neeson has two sons in real life named Micháel and Daniel (Danny). The film 'Run All Night' also has two boys with same names.
This is the second time when actors Liam Neeson and Boyd Holbrook have shared screen space, following 'A Walk Among the Tombstones'.
The film released on March 13, 2015, which was one of the cast member’s (Common) 43rd birthday.
In the scene where Jimmy goes to Shawn’s HQ and shoots all of his men, he is carrying a revolver that has six rounds. However, he discharges more than six rounds before reloading.
Jimmy Conlon is a former hitman who is now a man who lives alone, widowed and estranged from his son. His son Mike works as a limousine chauffeur and lives with some modicum of respect, as he wants as little to do with his father's old way of life and violence. He has a wife and two daughters named Catelyn and Lily. Mike used to be a professional boxer who has recently given up the squared circle. Shawn is Jimmy's former mob boss. His son Danny has gone astray, snorting coke and dealing in drugs with the Albanian mafia. He tries to get his dad to do business with them - in other words, to sell Albanian heroin in the streets of New York. Since there's no deal, The Albanians come back to recover their money that they had paid Danny to arrange the deal.
It so happens that Mike, by sheer coincidence, drops off the Albanians to Danny's house. Inside, things go wrong. The Albanians ask for their money and Danny's friend brings them a satchel. They open it and find Monopoly money in there. After a quick disagreement, Danny shoots one and severely injures another, who staggers out of the house. Danny catches up with him and shoots him in the head. Mike is witness to all this and Mike's friend, an African-American boy who was hanging out in the car with Mike, secretly tapes the shooting on his touchscreen smartphone. This evidence will at the end of the movie, establish Jimmy and Mike's innocence when they are wrongly implicated in the murder.
Danny notices that Mike has seen everything and chases him, but Mike manages to escape. Meanwhile, Jimmy hears about the trouble and comes to Mike's house. Mike is pretty pissed off at his father's showing up but Jimmy tells Mike not to call the cops or anything of the sort. As he leaves, Danny enters (he found an item that Mike dropped with the address) and is about to shoot Mike. But Jimmy sees Danny's car outside and goes back in. He shoots Danny in the neck just in time. Later on, he informs Shawn that he shot his boy. A lengthy chase from the cops follow and father and son manage to narrowly escape custody.
Later, Jimmy meets Shawn at a restaurant, where Jimmy asks Shawn to spare his son as he had no hand in it. He asks Shawn to take him instead, that he will turn himself in to the cops. Shawn has none of that and says that his life is now empty. He will first kill Mike and then kill Jimmy.
Mike and Jimmy are on the run, through city streets, subways and buildings. They narrowly escape an assassin that Shawn hires to go after them. Although Jimmy and Mike escape this assassin, he will mortally injure Jimmy at the end of the movie. Before that though, the assassin gets a hit in the fleshy part of Jimmy's left shoulder.
Mike gets his family to go to their country place - a safe place - on Jimmy's advice because Shawn's men will come after their friends and family in an attempt to get to them.
Before the final series of confrontations, Jimmy visits his mother in hospital and gently bids her farewell. At the side of her bed is a sheet of paper containing a prayer. He takes that, sits in a chair by her beside and writes down the names of all his past victims. He then heads to Shawn's hideout and his gang and finally, in a train station outside, he shoots Shawn.
Jimmy then goes to the cabin where Mike and family are and alerts the police to his location. Jimmy does not know that Harding now knows he is innocent. The only cop he can trust is Detective Harding, who it seems, has met the African-American boy and has seen the clip that establishes Jimmy and Mike's innocence. Back in the forest, as Jimmy is waiting while the rest of the family are at the pier, the assassin turns up again and tries to kill all of them. However, despite being shot again, Jimmy manages to pop a shotgun shell into the assassin's head just as the latter is aiming to shoot Mike.
The police arrive and clear Mike of the murders even as he is sitting next to his dead father. Later on, Mike is seen at his house, preparing for work. He takes one last look at a picture of him and his dad, having finally forgiven him for his past.
Run All Night is an American action thriller film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. The film stars Liam Neeson, Joel Kinnaman, Common, and Ed Harris. While the film has received mixed reviews from the critics, many in the audience are all praise for it. Here are some of the reactions Run All Night has received on Twitter...