With The Predator hitting cinemas this week we thought it would be a good chance to go behind the scenes and meet the team of McKenna (Boyd Holbrook – Logan, The Host), Nebraska (Trevante Rhodes – Moonlight, 12 Strong), Coyle – (Keegan-Michael Key – Tomorrowland, Let’s Be Cops), Lynch (Alfie Allen – Game Of Thrones, John Wick), Baxley (Thomas Jane – The Mist, Boogie Nights) and Nettles (Augusto Aguilera – 8, Ice).
Summary: Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) is a washed up gangster, a gangster with more notches under his belt due to his work with good friend Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris) then even he would care to admit. Those kills mount so high that he has in the ‘Moby Dick’ for Detective Harding (Vincent D’Onofrio) who is determined to bring him down but has never really been sure which murders he was responsible for and which ones were committed by somebody else.
But Jimmy isn’t living by his gun any more. No these days he spends his time drunk and asleep in Shawn’s bar, which seemingly seems to be managed by his also criminally-minded son Danny (Boyd Holbrook). Meanwhile Jimmy’s own son Mike (Joel Kinnaman) keeps out of the gangster lifestyle choosing to be away from his father and do an honest job as a limo driver.
Suddenly though Mike’s world is turned upside down when his job causes him to witness a murder committed by his former friend, Danny. Now suddenly Danny and Shawn have their sites set on Mike who suddenly finds himself being reluctantly helped by his old man.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 19th March, 2015
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Screenwriter: Brad Ingelsby
Cast: Lisa Branch (Angela Banks), Radivoje Bukvic (Victor Grezda), John Cenatiempo (Tommy), Giulia Cicciari (Catelyn Conlon), Common (Andrew Price), Ella June Conroy (Kirsten), T.J. Craig (Tim), Chris C. Cullen (Young Pat Mullen), Vincent D’Onofrio (Detective Harding), Tony Devon (Detective Angie), Dan Domingues (Uncle Ricky), Malcolm Goodwin (Officer Colston), Ed Harris (Shawn Maguire), Roderick Hill (Billy Conlon), Boyd Holbrook (Danny Maguire), Aubrey Joseph (Curtis ‘Legs’ Banks), Jelani Robert Joseph (Marcus), Patricia Kalember (Rose Maguire), Joel Kinnaman (Mike Conlon), Beau Knapp (Kenan Boyle), Anna Ladner (Maria), James Martinez (Detective Oscar Torres), Holt McCallany (Frank), Bruce McGill (Pat Mullen), Carrington Meyer (Lily Conlon), Julian Murdoch (Young Mike), Andy Murray (Paul), Tony Naumovski (Samir), Liam Neeson (Jimmy Conlon), Nick Nolte (uncredited), Genesis Rodriguez (Gabriela Conlon), Daniel Stewart Sherman (Brendan), Lois Smith (Margaret Conlon), Gavin-Keith Umeh (Officer Randle), Barrington Walters Jnr. (Terrell)
Runtime: 114 mins
OUR RUN ALL NIGHT REVIEWS & RATINGS:
The gangster film genre (yes a sub-genre of the crime genre) can be a slippery slope for females. Get it wrong and you end up looking incredibly stupid like director Ruben Fleischer did with Gangster Squad. Yes everyone wants to make the next Godfather, but few come close, in recent times it has really only been films like Animal Kingdom, The Departed, Two Hands and Killing Them Softly that have ever come anywhere near the masterpiece of the genre though.
With Run All Night though director, Jaume Collet-Serra, who started as a horror director with House Of Wax and Orphan before directing Neeson it great thrillers Non-Stop and Unknown, comes dangerously close to making a film that deserves to be listed amongst the ‘better’ films in this realm.
Collet-Serra’s horror background certainly seems to help him in the making of Run All Night. Unlike some of the softer gangster flicks around he isn’t afraid to let a little bit of blood splatter, while he brings a dark sinister urban feel to Brad Ingelsby’s script, which already uses the city of New York as a character anyway. The best part of Run All Night though is the fact that Collet-Serra keeps track of the character relationships awfully well and never allows the film to become a storyless shoot-‘em-up like the mediocre Denzel Washington led The Equalizer which surfaced last year. The fact that Ingelsby’s screenplay sets this film over the course of one night also shows that he is a screenwriter to watch.
Instead Collet-Serra keeps the tension running throughout this film, not only from having Mike and Jimmy in constant danger whether through a high speed car chase or a slow paced forest ‘hunt’, but by realizing that the friction generated from the fractured relationships that these characters share with each other is more than enough to have the audience on their seat as well… a tension that is also enhanced by a great soundtrack by Junkie XL.
In fact the only weakness with Run All Night seems to be storyline surrounding Mr. Price (played by the rapper Common), the mysterious hitman hired to track down Mike and Jimmy. While most of the characters in Run All Night escape that the Hollywood gangster clichés, Mr. Price certainly doesn’t. Very little character background is given about him which doesn’t make him mysterious, it just makes him slightly annoying. There seems to be very little motivation to why the character exists in the film except to lead up to the finale, and he would really be more at place in a film like Sin City. Not sure why he was written into the original screenplay when two great adversaries were already set up with Shawn and Detective Harding… the latter a character that certainly deserved a lot more screen time.
Also making Run All Night a must see are the performances of the cast. Neeson vs Harris is one of the best enemy pairings in modern cinema and the two veteran actors go toe-to-toe with not only violence but also a remarkably tension filled dialogue driven scene where the two face off in a crowded restaurant over a meal. Neeson shrugs off the misses he recently delivered with Taken 3 and A Walk Among The Tombstones and once again returns to what we saw in Non-Stop a man who understands the action thriller genre more than most of his counterparts.
The younger cast step up as well with Joel Kinnaman making us forget RoboCop with a performance not too dissimilar to his one in The Killing while Boyd Holbrook also seems to relish the opportunity of playing the ‘bad guy.’ Common doesn’t do much to suggest that he should turn his back on his music career while the brave casting of Law & Order: Criminal Intent star Vincent D’Onofrio to play another New York cop (like playing one on TV for ten years wasn’t enough) actually seems to pay off despite the role not having quite enough meat to make him stand out.
Run All Night is a stylish gangster flick that shows that there is still life in this genre and Liam Neeson yet. Jaume Collet-Serra again reminds us why he is the leading thriller director around at the moment with a film that I am certain is going to be talked about for years to come.
Summary: When Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) discovers that his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) is missing and there is sign of a struggle, he is immediately concerned. But as the case develops, the nation becomes transfixed with the search and a series of clues begin to make Nick look like something other than a mere bystander, the police, the media, the viewing public and his family begin to doubt his innocence.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 4th October, 2014
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: David Fincher
Screenwriter: Gillian Flynn
Cast: Lynn Adrianna (Kelly Capitono), Ben Affleck (Nick Dunne), Lisa Banes (Marybeth Elliott), David Clennon (Rand Elliott), Carrie Coon (Margo Dunne), Kim Dickens (Detective Rhonda Boney), Nicholas Fagerberg (Charlie), Patrick Fugit (Officer Jim Gilpin), Neil Patrick Harris (Desi Collings), Alexander Michael Helisek (Mover Charles), Boyd Holbrook (Jeff), Pete Housman (Walter), Leonard Kelly-Young (Bill Dunne), Lola Kirke (Greta), Saffron Mazzia (Celina), Scoot McNairy (Tommy O’Hara), Jamie McShane (Donnelly), Terry Myers (Steve Eckart), Kathleen Rose Perkins (Shawna Kelly), Tyler Perry (Tanner Bolt), Rosamund Pike (Amy Dunne), Missi Pyle (Ellen Abbott), Emily Ratajowski (Andie Hardy), Donna Rusch (Lauren Nevens), Cyd Strittmatter (Maureen Dunne), Sela Ward (Sharon Scheiber), Casey Wilson (Noelle Hawthorne), Ricky Wood (Jason)
If people were asked to name a director that has been pretty much constant for releasing great films over his career many would have David Fincher on their list. With films like Se7en, Fight Club and The Social Network on his resume you could argue that he is one of the most important directors of the past twenty years. Hell, he is even one of the very few directors who have been able to make a U.S. remake of a foreign film not only something watchable but something that was a hit with both critics and the public alike.
Now comes his latest film Gone Girl, which to many film lovers has become one of the most eagerly anticipated films of 2014. So how does it fair up? Well to be honest this is probably the must un-David Fincher films that Fincher has made to date in his career, but despite saying that this is a film that certainly works and shows that there are people out there in the cinematic world who are willing to try something different and be creative in doing so.
Based on Gillian Flynn’s hit novel of the same name the story of Gone Girl is told in three parts. First we find out-of-work writer Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) return home one day to find his wife Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) missing. Nick is a suspect from Day One and even the help of celebrity lawyer Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry) can’t stop the media from making him one of America’s most hated men.
The second part of the film follows Amy’s story and then the third and final act pretty much delivers the wash-up and sees Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) trying to tie up the loose ends of the case and help those that have been caught up in it all get on with their lives.
Now the first thing you’ll notice is that I’ve been pretty vague in my description of the plot of the film. That is because if someone ruins what happens in this film for you then they are the kind of the person that you should not associate with, this is a film that you need to go into cold with. Even those that have read the novel will not get the special thrill that those who know nothing about the story will get when they view this film.
The three acts of the film being so well defined throughout the film does take some getting used to but it actually does work and you certainly aren’t going to complain when the constant twists and turns that seem to play with your mind throughout this film. Just a word of warning though don’t try to over think the criminal case part of this film because while Fincher and Flynn (who is also the screenwriter here) have been pretty smart it would only take someone who has watched a couple of episodes of C.S.I. to see that there are many flaws involved in this film’s so called ingenious criminal plot.
One of the things that really lifts this film though is the style and tone that Fincher and Flynn have brought to the table. The script heads into some pretty dark areas but unlike a film like The Lovely Bones there is also some dark humor in there designed to get a chuckle from the audience. That element brings a touch of Fargo to the film while the town setting and Fincher’s way of portraying the community and society instantly conjures up thoughts of David Lynch’s career, particularly Twin Peaks. The good thing is that these styles meld together pretty well and despite the film’s length this is a film that will keep you engrossed for the entire time without any clock-watching.
Once again though the big talking point about this film is the fact that David Fincher has once again got the most out of his cast. Many like to highlight the fact that Ben Affleck has made some horrendous films over his career (and let’s be honest films like Gigli are pretty hard to forget) but over recent years he has also become one the finest characters actors going around. Here Fincher works with that and as a result you see Affleck play Nick Dunne in such a way that as an audience you find your feelings for the guy change almost from minute-to-minute. One moment you feel sorry for him and the next you are hoping he gets the death penalty.
Fincher also directs Rosamund Pike to a performance that should see her get an Oscar nomination. She plays a character with a lot of ‘issues’ (again I don’t want to give anything away) in such a way that she conjures up thoughts of some of the performances by the leading ladies in past 90s thrillers like Basic Instinct. Even the sub-cast get a good look in here with Kim Dickens playing Fincher’s Lynch-like Detective brilliantly well, Tyler Perry finally delivering a performance that will warm him to people outside of his normal fan base while Neil Patrick Harris joins the growing list of comedic actors who are dangerously good when playing criminally minded nut-jobs.
While not as good as some of Fincher’s previous films like Se7en and The Social NetworkGone Girl is still a credible film that does deserve to be listed as one of 2014’s finest. The twists and turns of the plot will captivate the audience while its slamming of today’s trial-by-media mentality also gives the audience something to ponder once the credits have rolled. The film’s unique mix of drama, suspense and dark humor should guarantee that it also stands up against the test of time.