'Run All Night' Will Leave You Tired And Confused
Based on my unsupported hunch that Liam Neeson action thriller should be a little better than most action thrillers, I would guess that Run All Night pretty well justifies my avoidance of action thrillers in general.
There is a great deal of action in Run All Night, but the plot consists almost entirely of a repetition of betrayals and resulting murders, followed by more betrayals and more murders, each murder starting a new revenge subplot, until the whole succession becomes, not only tiresome but, apparently unclear because about halfway through, Neeson gives a plot summary to bring us up to date; it seems the movie makers were afraid people were losing track.
Interest is not much support by a cast of unpleasant characters made sympathetic only if you are more affected by family loyalties than I can manage to be. Neeson does eventually give us his back story, but too far into the movie to establish much sympathy for him, and in any case, his story is too similar to villain Ed Harris’s to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys.
The only beauty in Run All Night, besides a kind of greenish-grey gloominess, is a series of overhead shots of city lights at night, and these disappear at a moment that suggest that all beauty ends at a certain inappropriate plot point.
There are a lot of shoot outs like a revenge western, but nobody is trying to bring civilization or even decency to anything; all motive in Run All Night are personal, and I never gave a damn.