Cary, NC — I like Liam Neeson, Action Hero. I’m honestly surprised that it took as long as it did for someone to figure out that a guy of his stature would look good beating people up on screen. This time out, Neeson re-teams with his Non-Stop director for Run All Night, a solid thriller about a former mob hit-man struggling to keep himself and his estranged son alive after killing the son of the local crime lord Neeson used to work for.
Neeson: Still a Great Action Star
One of the things I love about Liam’s new-found success as an action star is how he has used his clout from Taken and its sequels (both of which failed to live up to their predecessor) to make thrillers with a little more weight to them.
Movies like The Grey or last fall’s criminally under seen A Walk Among The Tombstones…both of those films featured our leading man portraying a tortured hero who is struggling to find meaning after suffering personal tragedies. And while Run All Night is definitely more of a straight forward action flick than those two, it still features Neeson playing more than just an unstoppable killing machine.
A Dark Character
His character is responsible for dozens of mob murders, a fact that has turned the man into a self-destructive alcoholic. He walked out on his wife and son years earlier and now barely receives pity from the boss he sacrificed everything for.
It’s quite a dark character, and it gives Neeson a chance to stretch those acting muscles again before going into action mode. He’s great of course, and I really appreciate the fact that he tries, and succeeds, to find interesting characters to play even with his new-found success.
Harris Great as the Villain
It also helps when you put Ed Harris (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind) in your movie as the mob boss. Harris doesn’t seem to work too much these days, which is a real shame because he instantly adds credibility to any movie he’s in.
Harris and Neeson only share a handful of scenes together, but those scenes are tense and terrific. Both actors give a feeling of history to the two characters, and when their final showdown comes around, you can tell how hard it is for the both of them.
Great for Action Fans
I realize it sounds like Run All Night is a really dark, intense film, but that’s not exactly the case. Neeson’s character has a brutal background, but the film focuses on his redemption more than anything. Everything he does in the film is for his son, who is now grown with a family of his own.
The action is exciting as well. I mentioned that Neeson just looks good beating guys up, and this is no exception. I know he can’t keep the action game up for much longer–he has stated in interviews that he only has a few more years of playing action hero left, so I intend to enjoy it while I can. So, if you enjoy Liam in his action wheelhouse as much as I do, then Run All Night is definitely for you.