usatoday.com – Liam Neeson knows there’s a website devoted to tracking the international baddies he’s taken out in his action films over the decades.
“You might punch in ‘killing machine’ and something will come up, I promise you,” says a still-surprised Neeson. “There’s a map of the world and there’s arrows pointing to all of the nationalities I have taken out.”
Look for a lot more Neeson kill-sties to dot the globe this year: His action-thriller Run All Night hits theaters April 17, and its trailer debuts this week, timed to the Friday release of Taken 3, featuring his final turn as the lethal CIA operative Bryan Mills.
Run All Night marks the actor’s third collaboration with director Jaume Collet-Serra, following 2011’s Unknown and last year’s Non-Stop. Neeson plays Mob hitman Jimmy Conlon, who has earned the nickname “The Gravedigger.” He’s a washed-up, heavy-drinking “Westie” Irish gangster, kept on board because of his near-brotherly relationship with Mob boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris).
The relationship turns when Jimmy’s estranged son Mike (Joel Kinnaman) — who has stayed away from the dirty family business — accidentally witnesses a hit. Maguire’s gang moves in to rub out the witness, but his father intervenes.
“Jimmy has to fight for his son’s survival and his own survival,” says Neeson. “The cops, corrupt cops and the Westies are after us. So, basically, we run all night.”
The film, set over 24 hours, pivots around Neeson’s disrupted relationship with Harris, who becomes hellbent on killing the Conlons. Meanwhile, a bevy of macho stars enters the picture, including Vincent D’Onofrio as a detective and the rapper Common as a hit man.
“It’s funny when you turn up on set with all of these masculine guys,” jokes Robocop star Kinnaman. “We all end up being all vulnerable. We’re actually really sensitive.”
On a serious note, Kinnaman gives big props to 6-foot-4 former boxer Neeson, 62, who continues to sustain, convincingly, a career in action films. “I don’t think anyone can mess with old Liam,” says Kinnaman. “He’s a big fella.”
Run All Night climaxes with a showdown between Neeson and Harris, and “you gotta believe it goes down in true Western style,” says Neeson. But along the way, he and Kinnaman leave a trail of departed foes as they travel by train, subway and car throughout New York City’s boroughs, offering more fodder for the kill map.
Still, there’s one location Neeson vows to stay away from in future films: North Korea. After the Sony hacking debacle in December over The Interview, that’s one fight Neeson won’t take on.
“I don’t think so,” he says. “I don’t want the little guy — what’s his name? Kim Jong Un — to get any more angry.”