Run All Night
Warner Brothers Pictures
Rated R for profanity, sexual references, graphic violence and drug use
Adrenaline-Fueled Action Thriller Finds Liam Neeson On Run As Hunted Hit Man
Hit man Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) and mob boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris) have been BFFs for decades. In fact, the blood brothers from Brooklyn are so close that they routinely recite their loyalty oath, “Wherever we’re going, we’re going together” as a reminder of their enduring alliance.
However, that seemingly unbreakable bond is shattered in an instant after Shawn’s son Danny (Boyd Holbrook) is gunned down in the wake of a drug deal gone bad with a couple of Albanian heroin dealers. Trouble is, Jimmy’s son Mike (Joel Kinnaman), who makes an honest living as a chauffeur with a limo company, just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. For, he had no idea what was up when he was hired to serve as the pair’s getaway driver.
Nevertheless, revenge-minded Shawn decides that his best friend’s kid has to pay with his life. So, he informs Jimmy that he’s sending his assassins after Mike to even the score.
Of course, Jimmy warns his son. Mike then calls the cops, ignoring his father’s advice to avoid the local police since they’re bought and likely in cahoots with the Maguire crime family. When that turns out to be true, father and son end up on the run all over the city from both the authorities and bloodthirsty bad guys.
Thus unfolds Run All Night, the latest high-octane offering from Liam Neeson who’s again typecast in a role that he’s become closely associated with ever since his phenomenal performance as an overprotective parent in Taken. This picture’s premise puts a slight twist on the familiar theme in that Jimmy’s not exactly an empathetic protagonist given his long career as a feared enforcer known as “The Gravedigger.”
Still, he’s sorely in need of a shot at redemption, especially in the eyes of his estranged son who rejected the notion of ever following in his father’s footsteps. Instead, Mike tried to make it as a boxer, and when that didn’t pan out he took the legit job as a limo driver.
Run All Night was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra who previously worked with Liam Neeson on both Unknown (2011) and Non-Stop (2014). Three times is definitely the charm for the pair as this adrenaline-fueled adventure proves to be their best collaboration yet. The film also features an excellent supporting cast which includes Nick Nolte, 2015 Oscar winner Common (for the Best Song “Glory”) and veteran character actors Vincent D’Onofrio and Bruce McGill.
Liam Neeson delivers afresh in an edge-of-your-seat, high body-count thriller every bit as good as they come!
Excellent (4 stars)
In English and Albanian with subtitles
Running time: 114 minutes
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Rated PG for mild epithets and suggestive material
It’s Back To The Subcontinent For Pleasant, If Pat, Sequel
When we last saw Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel), he had just proposed to his thoroughly-modern girlfriend Sunaina (Tina Desai), much to the chagrin of his meddling, more traditional mother (Lillete Dubey). The ambitious young entrepreneur had also landed the funds to renovate his ramshackle hotel with the help of Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith), one of the residents of the retirement community.
At the point of departure, we find Sonny (accompanied by Mrs. Donnelly) en route to San Diego where he hopes to interest an executive (David Strathairn) with the Evergreen Corporation in investing in the second old folks home he hopes to open. After all, the first is now flourishing and practically filled to capacity.
Meanwhile, back in India, Sunaina is squarely focused on their impending engagement ceremony, also known as a Sagai. In the groom-to-be’s conspicuous absence, she’s asked Kush (Shazad Latif), a friend of the family, to fill in as a dance partner, so she can practice the elaborately-choreographed routine she plans to perform at the party with Sonny. It is subtly hinted that this handsome hunk might pose a threat, given Sonny’s continued preoccupation with business matters upon his return to the Subcontinent.
That is only one of several storylines in a romance-driven sequel which unfolds more like a daytime soap opera than a fully fleshed-out feature film. Scene after scene is simply a setup for another transparent love triangle.
As she checks into the hotel, Lavinia Beach (Tamsin Grieg) has her head turned by a fellow new guest (Richard Gere), but Guy only has eyes for Sonny’s widowed mom. Madge Hardcastle (Celia Imrie), a pretty British pensioner, can’t decide between the two, filthy-rich Indian suitors she’s dating simultaneously. And Doug (Bill Nighy) has grown fond enough of Evelyn (Judi Dench) to commit, though he hasn’t yet divorced his estranged wife (Penelope Wilton) waiting in the wings. And so forth.
The irrepressible Sonny serves as a master of ceremonies of sorts supposedly tying all these loose strands together. Unfortunately, because he’s more of a clown this go-round, the film feels like a joke-to-joke farce not intended to be taken seriously.
A pleasant, if predictable, romantic romp laced with far more mirth than sophistication or substance.
Very Good (2.5 stars)
In English and Hindi with subtitles
Running time: 122 minutes
OPENING THIS WEEK
For movies opening March 13, 2015
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Home Sweet Hell (R for violence, profanity, sexuality and drug use) Dark comedy about a vengeful suburban housewife (Katherine Heigl) who hires a couple of thugs (Kevin McKidd and A.J. Buckley) to knock off her husband’s (Patrick Wilson) pregnant mistress (Jordana Bewster) in order to preserve her marriage. With Jim Belushi, Bryce Johnson and Alyshia Ochse.
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Of Horses And Men (Unrated) Romantic dramedy, set in Iceland, about a woman (Charlotte Boving) in love with a man (Ingvar Eggert Sigurosson) with a fondness for a mare that’s almost illegal. Featuring Steinn Armann Magnusson, Helgi Bjornsson and Kristbjorg Kjeld. (In Icelandic, Swedish, English, Spanish and Russian with subtitles)
Seymour: An Introduction (PG for mature themes) Ethan Hawke directed this prestige biopic about Seymour Bernstein, a promising child prodigy-turned-piano teacher who altruistically devoted his life to helping his protégés realize their potential.
Treading Water (Unrated) Romantic dramedy about a friendless, smelly boy (Douglas Smith) being raised in a museum whose fortunes change when the cute girl (Zoe Kravitz) he’s admired from afar finally takes a liking to him. With Carrie-ann Moss, Don McKellar, Kim Ly and Ariadna Gil.
Walter (Unrated) Andrew J. West stars as the title character in this quirky character study as a judgmental, megaplex ticket taker who thinks he’s the Son of God. With William H. Macy, Neve Campbell, Virginia Madsen, Brian White and Jim Gaffigan.
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