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A Revlock Review: RUN ALL NIGHT

Friday, March 13, 2015

  Liam Neeson's Latest Thriller

By Tinsel & Tine Blog Contributor Mikhail Revlock

I'm probably the wrong person to be reviewing the latest Liam Neeson actioner, having observed Neeson's ascent to action stardom at a distance and with some skepticism. To me, Neeson will always be Oskar Schindler or some prestigious variant, a habitual player in period pieces lauded by critics and reluctantly consumed by audiences, the cinematic equivalent of the Brussels sprout. I find it surreal when I spy flashes of Schindler on TV toting automatic weapons and growling murderous threats. I am not by any means an action movie snob--I have seen the vast majority of Sylvester Stallone's films--but I've avoided direct contact with this crop of baby boomer retro thrillers that have inundated cineplexes in recent years. I have zero interest in seeing geriatric versions of Arnold and Sly run roughshod through an elite team of terrorists. The whole thing smacks of fan service to me, and these new films look even shoddier than the enjoyably campy movies that inspired them.

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That said, I’ve got no beef with RUN ALL NIGHT. It's not a great film, but it's inoffensive. The pacing is quick, the plot semi-coherent, and the actors amusing. Neeson, in particular, is strong as the requisite drunkard with a checkered past. He commits to this rote role, especially in the early going. Forced to play Santa for a mob Christmas party, he gets hammered in the bathroom and makes a host of lewd remarks. The character feels lived-in in these moments, renewing the viewer's confidence in Neeson's continued attention to craft. This nuance unfortunately goes by the wayside as soon as he inevitably reveals himself as an unstoppable killing machine.

The rest of the cast is peopled with numerous familiar faces, including Ed Harris, Vincent D'onofrio, Common, and a nearly unrecognizable, uncredited Nick Nolte. All--save Common, dull without his trademark goat tee and beatific smile--turn in decent performances in spite of dialogue that teems with cliches. The actors often resort to unique grunting and marble-mouthed mumbling to make the most of their hackneyed material.

Script problems notwithstanding, this is a perfectly serviceable thriller. Under the direction of Jaume Collet-Serra, the action scenes are coherently shot and often involve skillfully choreographed hand-to-hand combat. A few of the chase sequences betray the limitations of the budget—notably in a cross-backyard race over identical CGI fences—but these sequences are mercifully brief. The narrative is strictly paint-by-numbers, but final product is so slickly edited one does not mind the absence of originality.

Revlock LAMB Score :3 out of 5

Mikhail Revlock is a freelance journalist and fiction writer. His hobbies include bicycles, books, and food. A Philadelphia native, he lives in University City with his girlfriend and two cats. Be sure to check out past contributions: Interview with "Dear White People" director Justin Simien and review of "Horrible Bosses" Interview with Kevin MacDonald "Black Sea" and "Jupiter Ascending"

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is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?
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