Oscar nominees Liam Neeson (“Schindler’s List,” “Non-Stop”) and Ed Harris (“Pollock,” “The Hours”) co-star in the Warner Brothers action thriller “Run All Night,” which premiered Monday night at the AMC Lincoln Square Theater in New York. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (“Non-Stop”), the film also co-stars Oscar winner Common (“Selma”) and Joel Kinnaman (“The Killing”).
Kinnaman brought his girlfriend, tattooed beauty Cleo Wattenstrom, who couldn’t help being the center of attention. The Swedish tattoo artist and actress wore a sheer gown that plunged nearly to her waist and was cut very low in the back to display colorful and intricate designs that covered nearly every area of exposed flesh.
“Run All Night” doesn’t disappoint as a fast-paced thriller with bone crushing fight scenes, thrilling car chases and characters trying to outrace killers. The story revolves around two longtime best friends, who have both seen better days. Shawn Maguire (Harris) is a Brooklyn mobster trying to retire and Jimmy Conlon (Neeson) is his former hit man, once known as “The Gravedigger,” who is now haunted by memories of his past. Jimmy is estranged from his son who wants nothing to do with him. Whatever they pay Neeson, he’s worth it for the way he adds gravitas and satisfying intensity to every scene he’s in.
In Harris, Neeson has a worthy actor to face off with, and their scenes together are the best part of the film, apart from the terrific action scenes, which never let up. You know as soon as Neeson says, “I’m too old for this s…t,” he’s about to demolish a dozen baddies.
Neeson’s character pulls himself together to try to save his son, Mike (Kinnaman), who witnesses a murder committed by Maguire’s only son, a druggie who gets involved in a drug scheme gone wrong. The film becomes a father-son saga with no easy answers. But for one long night, they work as a team to try to outsmart and outrun Maguire’s army of henchmen, along with the cop (Vincent D’Onofrio), who’s been trying to put Jimmy away for the past three decades.
Common, fresh from his Oscar win for his song “Glory” from “Selma,” plays Mr. Price, the assassin who says he would kill Jimmy just for the joy of it. Common is unrecognizable in his role as a hit man obsessed with killing both father and son.
On the red carpet, I asked Common how he got into the head of such a brutal character. “I tried to zone in,” he told me. “ I was happy to be a part of it with Liam Neeson. I knew that I wanted to go to that dark place, and I did it. I just gave my all.”
He added, “It was definitely heavy training, ’cause you’re fighting against one of the best, one of the greatest to ever do it, Liam Neeson. So for me to go toe to toe with him, man to man, I had to go through the training and the process because he has the experiences that I don’t have, but it was fun. My character Price definitely challenges him.”
Kinnaman, who has a Swedish accent he manages to disguise in his screen work, raved about playing opposite Liam Neeson. “It was a great honor to play with Liam, to play his son. It was a really great time. He’s a really sweet and gentle man that’s very generous, no ego and he’s got a great sense of humor, so it’s really easy.”
Look for the Swedish actor in more action thrillers hitting theaters this year. “What’s coming is going to be even more intense,” he promised, noting that he likes to mix it up. “The people who watch the films that I’ve done, I think they can appreciate what I try to do. I don’t try to stick with one thing and, for me, that is what I aspire to do, play as many different roles as possible.”
After his last red carpet interview, Kinnaman rushed over to girlfriend Wattenstrom, who was at the edge of the red carpet, and gave her a passionate Hollywood-type smooch, and then they walked hand in hand into the theater.