Run All Night review

Ageing action star provides a welcome reminder of his acting chops in this gritty thriller

Washed-up former hitman Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) finds himself going head-to-head with his best friend, Irish mob boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris), when he kills Shawn's son in order to save the life of his own estranged son Mike (Joel Kinnaman). With the mob, corrupt cops and a hired killer hot on their trail, Jimmy and Mike must go on the run in order to stay alive…

In the wake of Taken 3 the thought of having to sit through another sub-par Liam Neeson action movie was simply too much to take. Thankfully, despite the gun fights and car chases, Run All Night turns out to be an entirely differentand far more satisfying proposition.

As with the actor's previous collaborations with Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown and Non-Stop), Run All Night is a more character-based thriller than the Taken sequels. For all of the fun that comes from watching Neeson casually gunning down mobsters in a bar or brawling with a hired killer in a burning apartment, the film is at its best when it sinks its teeth into Jimmy and Shawn's friendship and their damaged relationships with their own children.

Picture: Unknown and Non-Stop cinematographer Flavio Martínez Labiano may not have returned for Run All Night, but newcomer Martin Ruhe sticks with a very similar aesthetic approach that pushes teals and oranges to the fore, while seemingly carving the image out of rough-hewn grain.

As 'gritty' as the AVC 2.40:1 1080p image looks when paused, in motion it reveals a surprisingly refined level of detail. Indeed, outside of the deliberately crushed blacks, the only time the transfer really falls down is during Chapter 11's mist-shrouded final showdown, where several character silhouettes are riddled with obvious noise.
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: Run All Night sprints onto Blu-ray with an extremely satisfying DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack. Naturally, it's the action scenes that really show off the mix's dynamic abilities. Every blow packs a tangible punch – check out the use of bass and reverb when Jimmy smashes a mobster into a toilet cubicle during Chapter 5's fight in a subway station.

Panning effects and positional cues really benefit from the use of the two extra channels, creating a much more precise and encompassing soundscape. Amongst all of this, dialogue is prioritised in the mix without ever sounding divorced from the action playing out around it. Nothing at all to complain about here!
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: Sadly, there's not much to get stuck into when it comes to bonus features. Shoot All Night (10-minutes) and Liam Neeson: Action All Night (six minutes) are rather perfunctory featurettes dealing with the making of the film and its leading man. More interesting by far are the six deleted/extended scenes, which not only provide more character beats but also reveal a change in Jimmy's backstory that was presumably done to make the character a little more likeable.
Extras rating: 2/5

We say: A superior thriller that reminds you that Liam Neeson can act just as well as he can punch

Run All Night, Warner Bros., All-region BD, £25 Approx