Sonntag, 19. April 2015

Run All Night

Veteran crime boss Sean (Ed Harris) and his old buddy/ hitman Jimmy (Liam Neeson) are pitched against each other after the retired but still proficient killer guns down the son of his longtime patron to protect his own. Thus begins a 16-hour spanning hunt through the mean streets of New York City.

The setup for the somber action thriller is ludicrously simple if, for its own purposes, also quite effective. Not too much time is wasted before the object of sympathy is established and all that's left for the audience to do is follow the father-son duo in distress through a stretched-out, fatally eventful night. Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra first made a name for himself in the horror genre, which probably explains why he's much better at fostering tension or a darkly ominous ambiance than choreographing and executing action sequences. So while there are a couple of gritty chase scenes where the sweat of the parties involved and the speed of the situation they find themselves in can be properly felt, most of the car maneuvers or shoot-outs underwhelm with their unoriginality or lack of technical finesse. The writing is not good and when it tries to show depth by straying into dramatic territories, the result is inevitably counterproductive. More than anything, the clunky attempts at verbally communicating the strains and reconciliation between a guilt-ridden parent and his resentful child prevent the movie from being an unencumbered ride of brainless fun. Redeemed are the equally awkward conversations between the two pals-turned-nemeses only by the immediately commanding presence that Neeson and Harris bring to the screen. Their tragedy-marred weariness, age-worn easiness, absolute stillness in posture and speech can make just about any scenario watchable.      

In the end this is a more than worthy Cinemaxx weekend feature, reassuring in its disposably entertaining quality. Don't expect too much, and one might even have a decent time before it all slips comfortably from memory.

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