The Curator of Schlock #419: Run All Night

 I stared at the life-like statue of Count Zarth Arn, the spitting image of Joe Spinell. How it ended up in the Battle Beyond the Stars exhibit was beyond me. I inched my index finger toward the face of Count Earth Arn. And then his mouth snapped on my finger. He wouldn’t let go.

I turned, expecting the Revenging Manta to come to my aid, but it was too late. The ninja vigilante was getting shocked by the robot sheriff Elle. The pressure from Count Zarth Arn’s jaw was too much for my poor finger as it separated from my hand. I cradled my bleeding hand as Count Zarth Arn laughed maniacally. — To be continued.


Tonight’s movie is 2015’s Run All Night from director Jaume Collet-Serra. He’s directed action thrillers like UnknownNon-Stop, and The Commuter. Those movies starred a grizzled Liam Neeson and so does Run All Night. Those movies featured Liam Neeson killing lots of bad guys and so does Run All Night. Are you seeing a pattern here? Do you turn up your nose at my pedestrian tastes?

Run All Night features Liam Neeson as a retired hitman for the Irish mob named Jimmy “The Gravedigger” Conion. Jimmy is not doing too well in his life. His son doesn’t talk to him on account that he used to murder people for money. Also, Jimmy is a stinking, sloppy drunk. Even when asked to perform Santa Claus at a party of his former employer, Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris), he can’t do it sober. Maybe if he had a better relationship with his son, Mike (Joel Kinsman), things would be different.

Mike is trying his best to live the life of an upstanding citizen. He drives a limousine at all hours just to make ends meet for his wife and two daughters.  Mike also takes on the role of big brother for a neighborhood kid named Legs (Aubrey Joseph). He even teaches him how to box. Contrast Mike with Danny Maguire (Boyd Holbrook), the shady son of the mob boss. He makes a deal with some Albanian drug dealers for a meeting with his dad. The Albanians want to smuggle heroin into the country, but Shawn Maguire wants nothing to do with this operation. The Albanians paid Danny a lot of money to get that meeting with his dad and they’ll be showing up at his apartment later to collect.

The Albanians call for a limo to take them to Danny’s apartment and guess who’s driving? It’s Mike!! He waits in the car as the Albanians go inside. Danny gives the drug dealers a huge sack filled with Monopoly money. The Albanians don’t find this very funny and they find Danny and his goons opening fire on them even less funny. One of the drug dealers makes it out of the apartment with Danny in close pursuit. Mike sees the guy limp toward his car just in time to see Danny execute him without mercy. Mike speeds away and the despicable Danny pins the murder of the Albanians on him.

With no one else to turn to, Mike calls his dad for help. Danny breaks into Mike’s apartment and is about to shoot him dead when Jimmy blows him away. Jimmy then calls Shawn Maguire up, telling him that he killed his son, but that Mike had nothing to do with it. Mike is innocent in this situation, but Shawn won’t accept Jimmy offering himself up. Shawn wants Jimmy to feel the pain of losing a son before he dies. Shawn then calls up everything goon in his organization, every corrupt cop working for him, and even a highly skilled assassin to go after Jimmy and Mike. 

One scene involves a thrilling car chase between Jimmy and a couple of corrupt police officers through the busy streets of New York City that ends with their cars crashing through a storefront on Christmas Eve. Another scene involves them trying to escape from a calculating assassin while an apartment building burns around them.

This is a redemption story for old Jimmy that just happens to involve him laying waste to every Irish mobster in New York City.

And this is why we curators of schlock go to the movies. 


Photo by Leslie Salas.

Jeff Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131episode 284episode 441episode 442episode 443, episode 444episode 450, episode 477episode 491episode 492, episode 493episode 495episode 496episode 545episode 546episode 547episode 548episode 549, and episode 575) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

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The Drunken Odyssey is a forum to discuss all aspects of the writing process, in a variety of genres, in order to foster a greater community among writers.


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