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Movie Review: 'Run All Night' Another Neeson Classic

by Todd A. Smith


(Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)


Another Classic




Rap mogul James Prince made news recently for his verbal warnings aimed at hip-hop titans Diddy, Lil Wayne, Birdman and Suge Knight.


He warned them that rapper Drake, whom Diddy allegedly assaulted in Miami, is “family” and that touching his family members, allowed their family members to be touched.


Although Prince previously had business relationships with many of the aforementioned hip-hop stars, family means much more than business acquaintances, and when one has to choose, the decision to protect family over friends is an obvious choice.


In “Run All Night,” Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) has put in many years of hard work as the muscle behind childhood friend Shawn Maguire’s (Ed Harris) massive empire.


Jimmy is personally responsible for multiple murders on behalf of Shawn, but when his latest assignment is given it forces him to reassess his loyalty and question who really has his back in life.


When Jimmy’s son Mike (Joel Kinnaman) witnesses a murder, the knowledge that he possesses about the killer puts Shawn’s entire operation in danger.


Shawn summons Jimmy over to Mike’s house to see what he knows about the murder, but the planned verbal meeting turns violent forcing Shawn to seek retribution.


Unfortunately for Jimmy, Shawn wants him to carry out that retribution.


What does one do when they are forced to choose between estranged family members and someone who is practically a family member?


The answer should be simple, but on the streets one’s loyalty could lie in multiple places.


“Run All Night” does a superb job of examining the psychological toll that street life can take on someone.


Sure, Hollywood has a tendency to glamorize street culture with emphasis on the money, fame, respect, admiration and power.  But behind the façade of opulence are human beings that contain feelings, complexities and most of all a soul.


For a hit man like Jimmy, how does one sleep at night knowing that a mother will never see her son again?


How does one stomach knowing that they caused a child to grow up without a parent?


How does he cope with being an instant widow maker?


But most importantly, how does he cope knowing that he could endanger his own family because of his personal lifestyle and personal choices?


“Run All Night” is splendid in showing the psychological damage that the criminal lifestyle has on an entire family.


And unfortunately, no amount of alcohol, counseling or success can mend the broken hearts created by such a lifestyle.


“Run All Night” also does an adequate job of showing how difficult it is to change what happens in the streets for the better because of crooked officers on the payroll of many “street cats.”


The film does struggle a bit as a result of those awkward aerial transition shots, but all is forgiven because “Run All Night” shows how important family is.  Ultimately, no matter how estranged family members can become, most real men would give their life to protect their family from harm and danger, both on the big screen and in real life.







This article was published on Friday 13 March, 2015.
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