"Run All Night" is about just that: a single dark night over the course of which which lives will be lost, old debts repaid, stained honor redeemed and many bullets will fly. It's the rare movie where the quiet, talkie parts are more interesting than the action mayhem.
Liam Neeson plays Jimmy "Gravedigger" Conlon, a once-legendary mob hitman who has devolved into a pitiable drunk. His old partners in crime have gone legit, he's become a joke in the working-class dives he frequents, and his own son Michael (Joel Kinnaman) wants nothing to do with him.
But through a series of unfortunate events, Jimmy saves Michael's life by killing the son of his gangster friend, Shawn, who's played by Ed Harris. Jimmy offers to make good by giving his own life in exchange, but Shawn is an old-school type who wants an eye to match the one he's lost.
The rest of the movie is essentially one long chase, with various mob toughs and cops out to get Jimmy and Michael. Actor/rapper Common turning up as a younger, meticulous assassin who acts as counterpoint to Jimmy's guts-and-instincts M.O. Vincent D'Onofrio plays the police detective who's wanted to see Jimmy in cuffs for years, but decides he can't be abandoned to Shawn's (lack of) mercies.
Director Jaume Collet-Serra gets a little too caught up in fancy filmmaking techniques -- slo-mo "bullet time" and jumpy editing. Some of the action sequences just plain go on too long, turning into an indistinguishable mashup of guns blazing and fists flying.
The slower character scenes have weight and punch, however. Harris and Neeson are terrific in their scenes together, two men who chose the way of the gun long ago, fully knowing it might lead to a night like this one.
It's a well-made movie that probably could've been a better one.
Extra features are just so-so. The DVD comes only with a handful of deleted scenes. Upgrade to the Blu-ray combo pack and you add two making-of featurettes. One focuses on the production, while the other is about Neeson's resurgence as a long-tooth action star.