Last year, director Jaume Collet-Serra brought us the high octane guilty pleasure flick, Non-Stop, and while that was set entirely on a plane (for the most part), his latest film, Run All Night, spans across New York City.
Marking his third collaboration with Liam Neeson, the gritty character-driven thriller centers on an estranged father and son (Neeson and Joel Kinnaman) who find themselves going head-to-head with a former mob boss (Ed Harris). Truth be told, it’s a highly enjoyable thriller and easily one of Neeson’s better efforts in recent years, which is a sentiment that our very own David James agreed with in his review:
This is a genre film made by a cast and crew who care enough about their craft to make the best damn genre film they can. It’d have been real easy to phone this project in, and I’m definitely glad that they didn’t.
During a recent press day for Run All Night, we sat down with Jaume to discuss the film’s Western influence, his roots in the horror genre, and how he casts his projects.
Check it out below, and enjoy!
The version of New York that you show in the film is unglamorous to say the least. How did you go about portraying elements of it that we haven’t seen before?
Jaume Collet-Sera: I was just trying to convey a world. I wanted to show it in a way that we haven’t seen before, which is hard because a lot of movies and TV shows are shot here. One of the ways to create a world that’s like an Urban Western of sorts was the train/subway element. All of that kind of symbolized the mafia connections and all of that.
Once you start there, then you get into locations that are near trains, are not in the wealthiest places and you start creating a world that makes you ask, “Why do these people live here?” But people do live in these environments.
What made you decide to feature a Western component?
Jaume Collet-Sera: It’s a very classic story of fathers and sons and the sons paying for the sins of their fathers. There are also two rivals who are friends at first and end up having to fulfill a destiny that’s been brewing for a long time. That’s very Western.
There are portions of Run All Night that recall 80s action films. You’ve spoken before about the lost art of the epic action film. Was it your intention to capture something that you think is missing from film today?
Jaume Collet-Sera: Yes, I guess so. When I make a movie, I just like to make it the way that feels right for the script. A lot of people ask me for my references, but it isn’t like I watch other films and think, “that would look great.” I don’t do any of that. Maybe it’s because my influences are in the back of my mind that they come through. I just try to be honest with the material and try to create the world that feels unified and that people accept as real for two hours.