STORY: Jimmy Conlon (Neeson) is a retired mafia hitman. He receives a call one night about his estranged son Mike (Kinnaman) being in mortal danger. While helping out his son, Jimmy kills his former boss Shawn’s (Harris) son Danny (Holbrook). This sets Shawn and Jimmy on a collision course.
REVIEW: Mike’s mother passed away a while back and his dad Jimmy sought solace in the bottom of a Scotch bottle, when not rubbing people off for a living. Now a limousine driver with a family of his own, Mike drops off two clients to an apartment and is then witness to a murder committed by Danny. The latter tries to kill Mike in his house, but Jimmy takes Danny out just in time. When Jimmy telephones Shawn and almost casually informs him that he has killed Danny, there are no temper meltdowns. Instead, there’s just a mutual resignation towards the inevitable; Jimmy tells Shawn that they are going to approach the point of no return. What we then have is classic Neeson – rumbling voice and lumbering gait – all the way.
Mike’s abandonment issues are convincingly portrayed. Jimmy’s character is wonderfully nuanced and D’Onofrio’s NYPD detective seems tailor-made. Lit by a thousand neon lights at night and soundtracked by the distant wailing of police sirens, Collet-Serra makes the mean streets of New York (Brooklyn and Queens, mostly) look surreal and fraught with danger at every turn. There’s plenty of atmosphere to boot, thanks to cinematographer Martin Ruhe’s interesting use of quadrants in his framing technique, adding to the movie’s general sense of urgency. Run… is somewhat lacking in suspense, but that is forgivable.
We’ve seen Neeson play a tough-as-nails retired cop/hitman/special forces person who rescues various members of his family/public, who also finds his own redemption in the process, for a while now. But somehow, he manages to rock this role every single time, giving action heroes half his age a run for their money. It’s like he’s perfected it down to an art. Albeit an ageing ass-kicker, the Irishman clearly still has what it takes.