Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Run All Night / The Royal Tenenbaums #LoveFilm

As I first watched the trailer for Run All Night in the cinema (a little over a year ago), I saw it as another attempt to ‘revive Bryan Mills’; Liam Neeson’s iconic leading role from the Taken franchise. I’d seen other films (including Unknown) that seemed to attempt the same feat, but with a relatively underwhelming climax.


My expectations for this one weren’t very high. It had sat amongst my wish-list of rental titles for a number of months and I felt like bumping it to the top of the pile, so that I could decide and then move on. Review scores from acclaimed sources didn’t do anything boost my spirits in hope of what may lie in wait.

But then, I’ve not personally seen Ed Harris in a lacklustre film or to give a bad performance (I’m not implying that he hasn’t). In the very beginning, Neeson’s character was highly reminiscent of the man he played in A Walk Among Tombstones, which I think was released in the same year. Drunk, beyond his better years and yet, you had these sense that he would know how to handle a weapon, when required.

Sobriety soon hits when a bounty is released for the death of his son. What would any father do in such a situation? Even if it would mean standing up against an old friend. That old Irish assassin soon finds himself facing the same demons that have plagued his life, in a story that eventually brings us back to the film’s opening scene.

This isn’t an all-guns-blazing affair. Neither does it have the choreography of John Wick and it’s not trying to emulate The Bourne Trilogy (yes, I said trilogy). I think we see more time spent travelling, whether it’s by car, bus or train and I liked the way in which some of these ‘transition’ sequences were swiftly dealt with. A largely predictable one but I enjoyed the ride on each occasion that I watched it.

If the same screen and story had been cast with a herd of B-List celebrities, it would’ve gone unnoticed.

Interesting fact: I spent my first sitting watching Detective Harding in this film and wondering where I might know him from, even though he didn’t look all that familiar… Then, searching on IMDB, it turns out that he played Private Pyle in Full Metal Jacket!

The Royal Tenenbaums is one of several Wes Anderson films that was recommended to me [thanks again, John!] at the time I was first able to experience The Grand Budapest Hotel. Several of the cast here also feature in other Wes Anderson films (including Bill Murrary)… Chances are, you’ve already seen it!

This film is centred around the trials of the Tenenbaum family and its trials of the three siblings, with the father, Royal Tenenbaum himself (played by Gene Hackman), as somewhat of an outsider.

While I was happy to watch this one several times, I didn’t find that I enjoyed it as much as two others that I’ve seen in the past year (Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel). Perhaps this is because I’m catching up with Annderson’s work in reverse chronological order… It’s a good indication when a directors work improves over time (and that’s a statement I could never affiliate with Michael Bay, for example). I’m also not a fan of Owen Wilson and he does have a good share of screen time in this. Had he featured more prominently in The Cable Guy or Meet the Parents, I might be sitting here now, claiming that I had been unable to complete a sitting through either of those films…

But that’s just me and this is the peculiar way in which I “review” the films I choose to rent!

Thanks for reading!

I welcome your thoughts.

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