Liam runs the show

Liam runs the show

LIAM NEESON’S late career as an action hero continues in ass-kicking fashion with his eighth action role in recent years.

You’d be forgiven for wondering if Neeson, now 62, would prefer to be doing drama or comedy rather than wrestling violently in various gloomy warehouses with fellas half his age. 

But the fact is audiences and – crucially for the business that is show – the box office cannot get enough of the Ballymena man lynching his foes. 

At least this effort is an improvement on the risible Taken 3 in that it bothers to give us a plot, though nevertheless it’s as generic as action movies come. 

Set in the first-generation Irish community in the edgier corners of New York, Neeson plays Jimmy Conlon, a high-level career mobster who police suspect of several murders they’ve never been able to throw the book at him for. 

Now in a sort of cosy semi-retirement with fellow don and close friend Shawn Maguire (Harris), the old gang are leaving the drugs and racketeering to the younger guys – but it’s when their sons get dragged into the same dirty business that things get complicated. 

Long estranged from his son thanks to years of killing and a fondness for the drink, Jimmy has been reduced to doing jobs for Shawn’s son Danny (Boyd Holbrook), a trigger-happy cokehead looking for easy dealings. 

It’s when Danny runs afoul of a nasty drugs gang – that his father, for once, refuses to bail him out of – that things get dirty. And the two older gangland bosses are pulled right back into the criminal underworld when Jimmy’s innocent and estranged (don’t you know) son (Kinnaman) is implicated for Danny’s murder. 

It’s a busy, gritty action film that sets its stall out nicely but flounders badly in the final act, courtesy of uncertainty in its resolution and some silly plot twists. 

Still, action junkies get their fix and the familial rivalries are nicely developed. Neeson may get top billing, but it’s Harris who fares better with a nicely understated performance as a fading but ruthless crime lord. 

Run All Night 3/5 STARS