Run All Night ***Dir: Jaume Collet-Serra. With: Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman, Genesis Rodriguez. 114 mins. Cert: 15
Liam Neeson’s Global Punching Roadshow rolls on. This New York layover – overseen by Non-Stop’s Jaume Collet-Serra – improves upon the star’s recent engagements: unlike the Taken sequels, it’s never caught cutting around the asswhupping you’ve paid to see, and it grounds all its beatdowns in appreciably supple character business. While doing a dusk-till-dawn shepherding job on an estranged son (Joel Kinnaman) who’s witnessed a Mob hit, Neeson’s boozy, washed-up former hitman faces off at regular intervals against heavyweight thesps (Ed Harris, Vincent d’Onofrio, Nick Nolte) who actually appear up for earning their paycheques. Swooping CG scene transitions add a needless touch of Google Maps-era flash to fundamentally retro material, but Collet-Serra stages pulse-elevating car chases and bar brawls, and weaves in pleasing, connoisseurial local detail: a simultaneous ice-hockey derby provides Big Liam with one ingenious avenue of escape, while the Irish-American Christmas setting pays off with a taproom shootout scored to “Fairytale of New York”.
Run All Night is now playing in cinemas nationwide.