Well, that's one way to fail the police academy driving course.


Well, that's one way to fail the police academy driving course.

RUN ALL NIGHT

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. LEGITIMATE BUSINESSMAN’S SOCIAL CLUB

Former mob hitman LIAM NEESON is hanging with his former crime boss ED HARRIS.

ED HARRIS

Hey there Liam, how’s tricks?

LIAM NEESON

Oh you know me, just hanging out being a perfectly happy and stable guy who has comfortably put his violent past behind him.

ED HARRIS

Ha ha, good one! No seriously, what are you this time? Broke? Washed up? Depressed? A drunk? A widower? Estranged from your family?

LIAM NEESON

Eh, how about we go a little of everything this time.

(stumbles, hurts self)

BLURRGH, I’M DRUNK AGAIN CAUSE I’M SO DEPRESSED ABOUT BEING A BROKE WASHED-UP WIDOWER WHO IS ESTRANGED FROM HIS FAMILY. FUCK MY LIFE, WHY AM I NOT DEAD YET.

ED HARRIS

There there old friend, just know that when you do make that final journey you won’t do it alone.

(pause)

I mean, that’s a totally hollow thing for a well-off family man who presumably intends to live a long and fulfilling life to say to a pass-out drunk loser who could turn up dead in a ditch tomorrow, but you gotta give me points for thematic resonance and foreshadowing.

LIAM NEESON

Um, is it just me, or is our acting just a little too good? Our characters seem suspiciously well-rounded and compelling.

ED HARRIS

Oh shit, you’re right, this thing is in real danger of turning into a serious crime drama! Nobody watches those! I mean, did you see Gone Baby Gone? Of course you didn’t! Nobody did!

LIAM NEESON

We’d better hurry up and devolve into a mindless action thriller, fast!

ED’S SON BOYD HOLBROOK bursts in.

BOYD HOLBROOK

Hey Dad, you know how you were a criminal kingpin years ago, but then went legit and by the sounds of things haven’t had any illegal business dealings for the better part of my entire life? Well for some reason I promised a psychotic Albanian gangster you’d distribute heroin for him. I accepted a huge payment for this promise and I’ve spent it already. So that’s all cool, right?

ED HARRIS

Holy shit, my son’s the biggest moron who ever lived. You get yourself out of this one, buddy.

BOYD HOLBROOK

You did catch the part where I’ll clearly be murdered if I don’t make this right, didn’t you? Also the part where I’m obviously far too stupid and reckless to come up with a non-terrible solution to this.

ED HARRIS

Oh well, if this all goes pear-shaped I’m sure I’ll fairly portion out the blame between mostly you and the Albanians, and partly me, and certainly not take it out on whatever innocent third parties happen to get accidentally dragged into your bullshit.

EXT. CRIME MEETING LOCATION

LIAM’S SON JOEL KINNAMAN is the LIMO DRIVER who the ALBANIAN GANGSTERS hire to drive them to meet BOYD.

JOEL KINNAMAN

So by total chance I’ve wound up at a place where my childhood friend Boyd is about to do crimes? Eh, it’s pretty contrived, I guess. I was hoping for something a little more clumsy and obvious.

Suddenly JOEL’S BOXING STUDENT AUBREY JOSEPH shows up.

AUBREY JOSEPH

Well fancy running into you while I’m out just wandering around! Is it all right if I hang around randomly filming stuff on my phone, including any crimes which might occur in the next five minutes?

JOEL KINNAMAN

Awright, that’s more like it!

Meanwhile inside, BOYD goes to return the GANGSTERS’ MONEY, but instead hands them MONOPOLY MONEY and LAUGHS IN THEIR FACES.

GANGSTER

Wow, just when it seemed like you couldn’t be a bigger idiot. If you don’t have our money and are planning to betray us, why not just shoot us while you have the element of surprise? Instead you’ve pretty much handed us a thousand notes saying “I’M BETRAYING YOU, MURDER ME IMMEDIATELY”.

BOYD HOLBROOK

Fortunately you’re too slow on the uptake to actually murder me immediately, so I guess our respective levels of stupidity even out nicely.

BOYD murders the GANGSTERS and AUBREY gets it on VIDEO. JOEL runs off.

JOEL KINNAMAN

Shit, I witnessed a crime by a violent gangster who knows who I am! I better go to the police right away!

(nope)

Oh. Well, maybe I should put grudges aside for now and get in touch with my dad, who has a lot of pull with Boyd’s dad-

(not that either)

...Well, I guess I could just go straight to where my wife and kids are staying and make sure they’re safe-

(guess again)

Just lay low at some out-of-the-way motel?

(wrong)

Or... I suppose I could just go directly to my home address? The place where Boyd would be able to find me with no trouble at all?

(BINGO)

Oh fucking come on.

JOEL goes HOME. Shortly afterwards LIAM shows up.

JOEL KINNAMAN

Hey look, it’s the drunken murdering asshole who ruined my childhood. I assume you’ve come to die in a fire? That’s so thoughtful of you.

LIAM NEESON

Can it, I’m just here to look out for you for a few hours. Ed’s already told Boyd to leave you alone and that he’ll make this whole thing go away, so unless Boyd’s a complete fucking moron - oh. Right.

BOYD shows up and tries to kill JOEL, but instead LIAM kills BOYD.

LIAM NEESON

Well shit.

(calls Ed)

Hey Ed, your idiot son showed up and I had to shoot him. Sorry.

ED HARRIS

I see. Any particular reason you couldn’t have waited until Joel and his family were an hour out of town before you told me about this?

LIAM NEESON

Because this movie still has like an hour and a half to go.

JOEL KINNAMAN

Okay Dad, you go deal with Ed. I’m gonna call the police and tell them about you killing Boyd.

LIAM NEESON

I wouldn’t do that if I were you.

(leaves, starts driving to Ed’s place)

Wait, I said “because half the police force are in Ed’s pocket and they’ll kill you”, right? I’m pretty sure I mentioned that part, it’s very important.

But he DIDN’T, so JOEL calls the COPS and CORRUPT COPS show up and toss him into their CORRUPT COP CAR.

CORRUPT COP

(on police radio)

Dispatch, neighbors reported gunfire at Joel Kinnaman’s house and Kinnaman was seen fleeing the vicinity, over.

DISPATCH

911 would have no record of that call from a neighbor, but they would definitely have a record of Kinnaman himself reporting the shooting, everything you just said will inevitably be revealed to be bullshit, over.

CORRUPT COP

We did not think this through, over.

Suddenly LIAM speeds up and starts trying to RAM THE COP CAR OFF THE ROAD.

LIAM NEESON

Hold on Joel!

(rams cop car)

I’m here to save you!

(rams cop car)

Oh, you should try and be invulnerable to car crashes for the next couple minutes, just a heads up.

(rams cop car)

LIAM successfully FLIPS THE COP CAR and pulls JOEL free of the wreckage. JOEL grabs a GUN off one of the COPS, and then tries to shoot the OTHER in SELF DEFENSE, but LIAM STOPS HIM and SHOOTS THE COP HIMSELF.

LIAM NEESON

You can’t fire a gun at anybody, Joel! The minute you do that you’re no better than I am.

JOEL KINNAMAN

So you’re saying that shooting an evil criminal in self defense is just as bad as decades of brutally murdering people at the behest of a drug-dealing crimelord.

LIAM NEESON

Precisely. Now, Ed’s guys are going to try and track you down through friends, loved ones and acquaintances, so no person or place that you’re familiar with is going to be safe right now. Where are your wife and kids?

JOEL KINNAMAN

They’re staying over at her brother’s place. I guess I should call and tell them to get out-

LIAM NEESON

No, you should go there and hide with them. In your brother-in-law’s house. One of the places I specifically warned you against not a minute ago.

(pause)

I may still be drunk right now. That would definitely explain a lot.

JOEL goes to his FAMILY while LIAM goes to talk with ED.

INT. ED’S RESTAURANT

LIAM NEESON

Well, Ed, even though Boyd totally got himself killed through his own stupidity, I’m turning myself in and letting you do what you gotta do.

ED HARRIS

That’s not revengy enough for me, though. So now I swear I’m going to kill YOUR son, the one person in this whole mess who clearly didn’t do anything wrong.

LIAM NEESON

How morally unambiguous. You know, the trailer made it kind of look like I actually killed your son in a morally indefensible way, like I was doing my own shitty criminal stuff and he happened to get in the way or something, and you had a totally legitimate grievance against me and deserved some kind of revenge. Gotta say, that would have been way more complex and interesting.

ED HARRIS

Yeah, and it would have steered us straight back into Serious Crime Drama territory.

LIAM NEESON

Oh, right. Forget I said anything.

ED HARRIS

So now my men are going to go find and kill Joel. And you’ll be stuck here with me, helpless to do anything.

LIAM NEESON

(walks out front door)

(punches one dude)

(runs away)

ED HARRIS

Wow, I totally half-assed that one. Okay men, I have a two-point plan for getting Liam and Joel. One, we’ll make them the most wanted criminals in the city. Somebody grab those dead Albanians and stuff them into the back seat of Joel’s abandoned limo.

GANGSTER

So the story is supposedly that Joel killed those guys, dragged them into a car that’s traceable to him, and just left them there on a public street? That’s the stupidest-

ED HARRIS

TWO, I’m gonna call in the best assassin money can buy. With Liam Neeson as the antihero hitman and me playing the evil crime boss, I can’t wait to see who we’ve got to play the ultra-skilled mercenary!

COMMON

Hey.

ED HARRIS

...Seriously?

EXT. JOEL’S BROTHER-IN-LAW’S HOUSE

LIAM picks up JOEL and his FAMILY.

LIAM NEESON

You should take your family to hide out in my isolated cabin in the woods. Because nothing bad has ever happened to a movie character in an isolated cabin in the woods.

JOEL KINNAMAN

They can go, but you and I should go and find Aubrey and tell him to take that phone footage to the police and exonerate me of these crimes. Cause apparently that idea wouldn’t occur to that little cretin without our suggesting it.

LIAM NEESON

Can’t you just call him or email him or something?

JOEL KINNAMAN

What, just because I’m his mentor and father figure you assume I have any means of contacting him whatsoever?

They go to AUBREY’S HOUSE and talk to a FRIEND OF AUBREY’S.

LIAM NEESON

But shit, a neighbor recognized us off TV reports and called the cops, who have the building surrounded!

JOEL KINNAMAN

Oh no!

LIAM NEESON

And crap, Common is here too coming to kill us!

JOEL KINNAMAN

OH NO!

LIAM NEESON

And now some random tenant accidentally started a fire and the building is burning down!

JOEL KINNAMAN

Okay this is just getting silly.

COMMON cuts the POWER, and all of the LIGHTS go out.

COMMON

Ba ha ha, with my night vision goggles I can go after Liam and Joel without them being able to see me! So now I’ll just put on my glowing green goggles and turn on the glowing red laser sight on my gun, and having literally lit myself up like a Christmas tree I’ll head out there like a phantom in the night!

But somehow LIAM and JOEL manage to SPOT HIM and get away.

COMMON

Fuck, how does Sam Fisher pull this off?

INT. LIAM’S BROTHER’S HOUSE

LIAM and JOEL go to hide out with LIAM’S BROTHER NICK NOLTE.

LIAM NEESON

Nick Nolte is my brother? Holy crap, have I been trying to do an American accent this whole time? That’s embarrassing.

NICK NOLTE

Agkgkkhh. Hkg grkl kkkkhhkkh.

LIAM NEESON

On second thoughts, that could be literally any accent or language.

NICK NOLTE

(struggling to speak around lawn mower engine lodged in throat)

Joel, you can’t trust Liam! I know this asshole, he’s surely on Ed’s side and is planning to betray you.

LIAM NEESON

On Ed’s side? Nick. I murdered Ed’s son. Then like fifty of his henchman. You’re not making the damnedest bit of sense.

NICK NOLTE

Oh yeah, well how about I just tell Joel about the time you murdered our other brother.

JOEL KINNAMAN

What?! You prick, Liam! I now hate you for being a criminal scumbag, which I already did! Now I’ll storm off to the cabin by myself, which was probably already the plan! This affects nothing and is a waste of everybody’s time!

(leaves)

LIAM NEESON

Fine then, I guess I’ll just go have my showdown with Ed. Yes, that means the final climactic villain is going to be Common. We’re not happy about it either.

INT. ED’S RESTAURANT

ED HARRIS

Bad news guys, I just got off the phone with Liam, he’s coming to kill us all.

HENCHMAN

What, that shambolic drunk we were all laughing at at the beginning of the movie? Who gives a shit.

ED HARRIS

No, suddenly we’ve changed our minds and think he’s some kind of unstoppable killing machine.

HENCHMAN

Oh, okay then. OH GOD NOT LIAM NEESON! WE’RE DOOOOMED!!

LIAM bursts in and kills all of ED’S GOONS.

ED HARRIS

So this is it. Our entire relationship has built up to this face-off. Two tough, hardened old warriors facing each other in an honorable SEEYA!

(runs away)

LIAM chases ED to a TRAIN YARD, where they play PEEKABOO around a bunch of FREIGHT CARRIAGES.

ED HARRIS

Okay, he has a gun, I have a gun, if I come out shooting there’s like a fifty/fifty chance I’ll be able to cap him before he kills me. Could be worth a shot. On the other hand, if I just start sprinting away from him right out in the open, what is he going to do? Take all the time in the world to level his gun at my completely exposed back and blow me away? As if!

ED runs away AGAIN and gets SHOT.

ED HARRIS

Urgh! Well... I guess I could still shoot you before I die, now that you’re just wandering slowly up to me... I mean, didn’t we heavily, repeatedly, foreshadow that we were going to die together? We basically said so in dialogue, if I recall.

LIAM NEESON

Now now, that’s serious crime drama talk.

ED HARRIS

Right. What was I thinking.

(dies)

EXT. CABIN IN THE WOODS

LIAM comes to see JOEL and his FAMILY.

LIAM NEESON

So Ed’s out of the picture, and the cops aren’t after you anymore because Aubrey got your message and gave that footage to police detective Vincent D’Onofrio.

JOEL KINNAMAN

Vincent D’Onofrio was in this?

LIAM NEESON

Oh yeah, a bunch. But I prefer my “detective out to get me” characters to not affect the story or matter in any real way. Just ask Forest Whitaker.

JOEL KINNAMAN

So then, I guess we all get to live happily ever-

COMMON shows up and shoots LIAM in the SPLEEN!

COMMON

Holy shit, I completely got the drop on him and was standing like ten feet away, was that seriously the best shot I could manage? Whatever, I guess I’ll just take two seconds to pop a second round in his skull while he lies there writhing.

(pause)

But first to chase down and kill the total non-threat Joel!

COMMON chases JOEL through the WOODS. JOEL fires wildly at COMMON as he runs.

JOEL KINNAMAN

Whoops, I fired a gun. So by my dad’s logic I’m a total scumbag now. Dang.

COMMON

Actually I think you get a pass since none of the bullets are coming anywhere near me.

JOEL KINNAMAN

What, so morality is a function of marksmanship now?

As they RUN AROUND, JOEL manages to lose sight of COMMON, who sneaks up behind him.

COMMON

Oh would you look at that, I have a perfectly clear shot at your head. My laser sight is right there on your skull. But why shoot you when I could instead keep scuttling slowly up behind you, even speaking directly to you for several seconds and completely losing the element of-

LIAM NEESON

SURPRISE!

(shoots Common)

COMMON

Wow I suck. I’m hoping when Ed said he was going to be paying me twice my usual fee, he meant TWO gift cards to Best Buy.

(dies)

LIAM NEESON

All right, NOW we all get to live happily ever after.

(bleeds out)

Fuck.

END.

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