Run All Night
starring Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman, Vincent D’Onofrio, Bruce McGill, Genesis Rodriguez, Boyd Holbrook, Holt McCallany, Common and Nick Nolte
written by Brad Ingelsby
directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
This is a gritty story of New York Irish gangsters in an all-night killing spree. Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) and his old pal Sean Maguire (Ed Harris) are classic old-school Irish American gangsters. They live by a vendetta code. You see a lot of movies these days about psychotic-violent Italian mafia, Russian mafia, Chinese triads, Albanians, Columbians, etc. But Sean and Jimmy can still hold their own.
All the action occurs at night. One night in the Big Apple. The soundtrack definitely reminded me of The Terminator (1984, directed by James Cameron). On the one hand, Jimmy Conlon has gone to seed. Out of money, out of friends, usually drunk. But he’s still dangerous, for which he is respected. He’s also Sean’s friend, which credits him some regard among younger gangsters. On the other hand, Sean has a business empire built on crime. He’s trying to groom his son, Danny, to take his place, but Danny is a little crazy and takes too many unnecessary risks. Jimmy’s son, Michael, is estranged from Jimmy, trying to live a straight life as a chauffeur. But when Michael accidentally witnesses Danny kill a couple of Albanians from whom he borrowed money that he can’t repay, Danny is bent on killing the witness. They know each other through their fathers, but just like in The Godfather, this kind of killing is business, not personal. Jimmy shows up at just the right time to save Michael by killing Danny. However, in doing so he pits himself against his old friend, Sean, and their friendship won’t save one from the other.
Jimmy calls Sean up and admits what just happened, because it’s honorable. Sean is like,
“Okay. Now I’m coming to kill you.”
And Jimmy is like, “I understand. But I will do everything I can to protect Michael.”
It goes from a you-killed-my-son-so-I’m-gonna-kill-your-son thing to an I’m-gonna-kill-you-and everyone-you-ever-knew kind of thing. And it all takes place in one night, so everything is always dark.
Neither Jimmy nor Sean are alive in the morning. But Jimmy achieves some reconciliation with Michael and Michael’s family, and Jimmy’s friendship with Sean is preserved, even though they felt they had to kill each other.
Vincent D’Onofrio, an excellent character actor, plays Detective Harper who has been pursuing Jimmy for years for murder.
When Sean realizes his men are failing to kill Jimmy he calls in an elite professional hitman, Mr. Price, played by rapper Common.