Why does no one care about good scripts anymore?
Pairing Liam Neeson and Ed Harris on screen in a gritty crime drama is genius. These two aging badasses bring with them such strong screen presences that you would think the scenes would write themselves. And yes,the few moments they share on screen together are great, but once they are over, the rest of the film is a tired mess.
One of the downfalls of being a film critic is the sheer number of films you are subjected to. While many are great, the majority fall into a grey zone of mediocrity. Mediocrity is the absolute worst attribute any movie can have. Even the truly worst films gain recognition and can be appreciated for their faults. But these mediocre flicks just keep recycling the same tired ideas, lines, and plot holes. If you aren’t constantly subjected to these, a film like “Run All Night” might seem pretty good. Action! Violence! Mayhem! Yes, it has all of that. But it’s all been done before, and better. If you decide to see this film, keep count of how often sheer coincidences move the plot along. One or two coincidences are often required to create a fascinating story, but it’s different when the entire story would come grinding to a halt if one particular character didn’t find a particular photograph that happened to have very specific writing on the back.
A better idea would be seeing “John Wick” instead. “Wick” is the most underrated film of 2014, which is a shame considering it is arguably one of the best American action films of the past decade. It also shares a surprisingly number of similarities to “Run All Night”:
An enforcer who is out of the game
Aging crime lords who extract vengeance because of their stupid son
Friends who turn against each other
Violence, Gunplay, sexy cars
A hitman called in to do what others cannot
An unnecessary flashback opening
That’s about all they share though. After watching “John Wick” go see “Run All Night” and see how you feel. Probably a little empty and cheated. And angry that they didn’t take full advantage of Neeson and Harris.
Note: There is one great shot in the film, but they waste it in the trailer. Check it out below.