The Liam Neeson led thriller Run All Night is charting on HBO Max.
Everyone knows by now that Liam Neeson has a particular set of skills that he’s acquired over a long career in Hollywood. Skills that make him a dream come true for action movie fans. Those skills are on full display in the 2015 underrated action gem Run All Night, currently climbing the streaming charts according to FlixPatrol and available to watch right now on HBO Max.
In Run All Night, Liam Neeson plays a perpetually drunk former hitman, Jimmy “The Gravedigger” Conlon, forced to go against his best friend and former boss Shawn Maguire, played by Ed Harris, in order to save his son Mike Conlon, The Suicide Squad‘s Joel Kinnaman. Along with Neeson and Harris, the film also stars Daredevil‘s Vincent D’Onofrio as Detective John Harding and Genesis Rodriquez of Tusk fame.
Run All Night was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra from a screenplay written by Brad Ingelsby, creator of the popular HBO Max mini series Mare of Easttown. The film marked the 3rd collaboration between Liam Neeson and Collet-Serra. The duo previously worked together on the movies Unknown and Non-Stop.
In 2012, Warner Bros. purchased Ingelsby’s script, then titled The All-Nighter, for six figures. The following year Liam Neeson joined the cast right around the time Jaume Collet-Serra came aboard the project. The movie was scored by frequent Zack Snyder collaborator Junkie XL who thought it would be more interesting to score the movie based on emotional beats rather than letting the action dictate the music direction.
Run All Night was a minor Box Office success grossing $ 26.5 million domestically and another $45.1 million overseas for a grand total of $71.56 million against a production budget of $50 million. Interestingly the audience for the Liam Neeson action-thriller was 52% female on its opening weekend, a number considered high for an all-male action movie. The figure just helps to further dispel the stereotype that only guys like to see people crashing cars and beating the crap out of each other.
Run All Night is just one of several action movies starring late-career Liam Neeson. Ever since 2008’s Taken, Neeson has focused almost exclusively on action/crime movies. In addition to Taken 2 and 3, Neeson has appeared in at least 20 other movies that IMDb considers either action, crime, or both.
To say the man is being typecast is an understatement. To put it another way, when a trailer for a Liam Neeson movie comes on, most fans assume it’s a Taken sequel until told otherwise.
That’s not to say that the Northern Ireland-born actor hasn’t dabbled in other genres in the last 15 years. In the last decade and a half Liam Neeson has managed to squeeze in a few romantic dramas, such as Made in Italy and Ordinary Love, along with a handful of cameos here and there. Perhaps Neeson’s oddest collaborations have been with American Dad creator Seth MacFarlane.
MacFarlane has put Liam Neeson in both his live-action endeavors like A Million Ways to Die in the West, Ted 2, and The Orville, as well as using the actor for a few bits on Family Guy. Neeson is known primarily for serious roles making it even weirder that Seth casts him exclusively as comedy relief. For whatever reason, it works.
Neeson’s cameo in Ted 2 as a grocery store customer buying Trix is easily the funniest gag in the movie.
Cameos aside, action movies really have become Liam Neeson’s bread and butter lately. Not just any action movies either but the kind where an old, grizzled ex-CIA agent/mob hitman/bank robber comes back and grimaces his way through one last job. His characters are the grimdark versions of the wise-cracking, oneliner-spouting action heroes of the ’80s played by actors like Schwarzenegger and Stallone.
Where Arnold’s characters would snap a foe’s neck on an airplane and then tell the flight attendant, “Don’t disturb my friend. He’s dead tired,” Liam Neeson’s characters give the bad guys a speech that basically amounts to “I’m a highly trained killer, and I’m gonna hunt you down and murder you.”
But that’s ok. Liam Neeson, after all, has a particular set of skills that includes playing badasses over 60. Why not stick to what you’re good at? If Neeson’s particular kind of bleak, gritty action movie is your thing, you could do a lot worse than Run All Night.