My expectations for Run All Night were probably set higher than your average punter. It’s not that I’m a big proponent of the ubiquitous Liam-Neeson-Is-An-Alcoholic-Who-Shoots-People pseudo-franchise of the last decade or so – I couldn’t bring myself to watch Taken 3 – but that I was simply excited to see another picture from director Jaume Collet-Serra, responsible for both creepy horror flick Orphan and last year’s surprisingly fun Non-Stop.
Sadly, Run All Night is no Non-Stop. It is a lot of other movies – it has the basic plot of Road to Perdition (except the equivalent of Tom Hanks’ son is Joel Kinnaman), the climactic shoot-out of Heat, the subway chase of Carlito’s Way, the overwrought introduction of Max Payne and the setting of every other New York gangster film ever made. Conventionality isn’t a dirty word for Collet-Serra, though, and his darkly dirty aesthetic produces some great images – a gunman obscured by swathes of snow, a footchase where the runners are consumed by the depth of the New York night. But, unlike Non-Stop, the film’s impaired by pausing too often to catch its breath. Cut the clichéd attempts at characterisation to get a trim ninety minutes and we’re off to the races.