There are some reviews that are short because the subject matter allows very little to talk about. There are some reviews that have to be selectively and reluctantly cut down because there’s too much to talk about. And there are some reviews you mask with quasi-relevant discussion to hide how short it would otherwise be.
This might be one of those.
Easy references to Taken could be made, and easy references to Taken probably will be made. Yet again this is Liam Neeson’s cinematic de rigueur. It feels like every action movie he’s made from then has been some attempt to recapture what that movie was, but without the subtleties that made it what it was.
Run All Night no doubt relies on Neeson’s reputation as a fighting virtuoso, all the while showcasing less of it. It opts to be more of a crime thriller in the vein of Walk Among the Tombstones. Neeson (because is there any point in calling him by character) is a struggling hitman who has to go up against his former boss and friend after an incident involving their two boys.
It’s got everything from the regretful assassin, the boy who resents his dad, to the reluctant alliance between the two until their father-son issues are somewhat less of an issue through the common interest of mortal terror.
Though all is typically stock, I doubt there are many who could fault this for being a bad movie. Following the narrative crowd doesn’t inherently spell doom for your story, but it does make it harder to differentiate you. Run All Night has an understanding of human nature that validates otherwise illogical plot choices. Nonsensical things will happen when humans are involved. It gets that people don’t always make the most reasonable decisions during impassioned circumstances – rightfully disregarding plot-picking perfectionists who believe movies have to be the best renditions of life.
It’s a bit conventional, it’s a bit familiar, but it’s got a higher-than-average emotional intelligence in a masculine milieu that’s not known for it.