Review: Running Scared (2006) R 122min
June 26th, 2008 by Maxim · 2 Comments · 5,944 Views
Fast-paced crime action thriller written and directed by Wayne Kramer (The Cooler).
The plot: After a drug deal had gone bad, Joey Gazelle (Paul Walker – Fast and Furious, Into The Blue), a small-time mobster, is told by head-thug Tommy ‘Tombs’ Perello (Johnny Messner) to dispose of a snub nose stainless steel .38 gun that killed a dirty cop. Instead of throwing it in the river, he hid the gun in his basement, which was witnessed by his son Nick (Alex Neuberger) and his next door Russian best friend Oleg (Cameron Bright – Godsend, Ultraviolet, X-Men: The Last Stand). Later that day the Russian kid shot his abusive step-father (Karel Roden – 15 Minutes, Hellboy, The Bourne Supremacy) with this gun and went on the run. Now Joey needs to find Oleg and the gun before police does and trace them through the underworld of pimps, thieves, perverts and drug dealers.
The good: Nicely shot: I liked the cinematography style and how the film was desaturated. Very realistic action. Both kid actors were great - as a matter of fact they received nominations for best young artist performance in a feature film. A lot of interesting twists and turns in the story, all the way to the last frame of the film. Paul Walker’s best performance so far – unlike one-dimensional characters he played in Into The Blue and Fast and Furious, this a really dramatic character. The movie is very gripping; even though you see a lot of evil, you just can’t get away from it. Interesting to see how lives of people who ever touch that gun get connected. Nice final credits sequence and musical score. Every supporting character has got an opportunity to shine in one scene or another.
The bad: At more then two hours, the movie felt long and I was beginning to get tired of all the relentless evil people and things in this movie. Dirty cop and mobster stereotypes. Morally bankrupt. I did not like the ending. Badly researched and developed characters. Over-the-top. Violent.
The summary: flawed, but gripping; disappointing in the end.
Similar movies: “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels“, “Reservoir Dogs“, “Training Day“, “Eastern Promises“.
p.s. The film was dedicated to Brian De Palma.
The cast: Joey Gazelle - Paul Walker (Fast and Furious, Into The Blue) | Teresa Gazelle - Vera Farmiga | Oleg Yugorsky - Cameron Bright (Ultraviolete, X-Men: The Last Stand, Godsend) | Anzor Yugorsky - Karel Roden | Detective Rydell – Chazz Palminteri | Mila Yugorsky - Ivana Milicevic | Nicky Gazelle - Alex Neuberger | Ivan Yugorsky - John Noble
The crew: Director – Wayne Kramer | Writer – Wayne Kramer | Producers: Tony Grazia, Andreas Grosch, Stewart Hall, Sammy Lee, Matt Luber, Andrew Pfeffer, Andreas Schmid, Brett Ratner and others | Original Musical Score – Mark Isham (Crash, Lions For Lambs, Miracle, Spartan, The Cooler, The Majestic) | Cinematography – Jim Whitaker (The Cooler, Thank You For Smoking)
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Absurd Violence | Brian De Palma | Chazz Palminteri | child abuse | Child Pornography | Child With Gun | Dirty cop | drug dealing | Gangster | Gun | Gunfight | Hockey puck | Intense Violence | Mob | Paul Walker | Pedofile | pistol | Police Corruption | prostitute | racial slur | Russian American | Russian mafia | suicide | twist in the end | Undercover Agent