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Running Scared (2006)

Cast: Paul Walker, Paul Walker, Cameron Bright, more...
Director: Wayne Kramer, Wayne Kramer
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: New Line Home Video
Genre: Action, Suspense/Thriller, Crime, Gangsters
Running Time: 122 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
    see additional details...

A minor crook finds himself in major peril when a "hot" weapon goes missing in this violent crime thriller. Joey Gazelle (Paul Walker) is a low-level "mechanic" in the Mafia who hopes to rise through the ranks by doing whatever is needed. One night, a drug deal goes very wrong when police show up and try to close down the operation; shots break out and a battle ensues, with a pair of of cops meeting a particularly violent fate at bad end of a gun barrel. Joey is given the gun that killed the policemen and is told to make it disappear so it can't be used as evidence; however, before he can do that, the weapon is stolen by Oleg (Cameron Bright), a friend of Joey's young son, who takes the pistol and uses it to shoot his abusive stepfather. Now that the gun is implicated in high profile crimes, it's vitally important that Joey find it as soon as possible, but his search for the firearm is complicated by the fact that Oleg's stepdad is affiliated with a rival gang of Russian mobsters, and that Rydell (Chazz Palminteri), a seriously corrupt police detective, is hot on Joey's trail. Joey's search for the gun takes him through the grim criminal netherworld of the city, where he must face off against nearly every sort of crook, con artist, and deviate that has ever walked the earth. Running Scared is from writer-director Wayne Kramer, who made a name for himself with the well-reviewed independent feature The Cooler. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

nasty style, nasty flick! by toddandsteph July 3, 2006 - 2:13 PM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Running Scared: I'm a little late for the debates about this film's merits, but I will say the following. Nowadays, between Michael Bay, crappy CG effects everywhere, wussy action heroes, and chop-chop-chop editing with Tony Scott cinematography, something with balls that's entertaining and violent's pretty hard to find. Now, when I saw this movie advertised, I figured it'd blow big time because of the lame trailers and Paul Walker. Well, although he's no Lee Marvin, Walker puts in a nasty performance as low-level mobster, Joey, in this one. We see him and others twist through one unpleasant situation after another. The fact of the matter is that this flick is a decent watch. It's a headfirst trip down the rabbithole, and you meet all sorts of evil bastards before the ride is over, and except for the ending and some stylistic issues throughout, I doubt you'll find a better action ride out of Hollywood this year. *** and 1/2 * out've *****

Family Values, Guns Included by talltale June 11, 2006 - 9:14 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Wayne Kramer's RUNNING SCARED may have a trite and over-used title but it's still a must-see: original, fast, violent, sexy, funny, bizarre and full of good-old-fashioned family values. Yep. Which separate it nicely from some of the work of Tarrantino and his disciples. It IS over the top in ways both obvious and not, so you won't mistake it for a realistic gangster epic or thriller or really anything else.

For the scene with the pederasts alone--which gives full vent to our righteous anger--this is one disturbing movie. Disturbing, too, is its use of children and guns. I'm all for gun control, and yet I embraced much of what I saw here, which may make me a hypocrite or Kramer (who also co-wrote and directed "The Cooler" and wrote the underrated thriller "Mindhunters") some sort of devilish genius.

The movie starts with a bang and seldom lets up. Kramer is smart enough to vary his pacing but not his suspense--which remains high. He tosses Italian, Russians and dirty cops into a mix that separates real family values from the fake kind that our politicians and religious leaders keep screaming about. But there's little soap-boxing; the movie moves too fast and has too much on its mind for that. The cast, very well-chosen, delivers each role well, with surprising shades of good and bad (Kramer doesn't do simple-minded cliche).

"Running Scared" may not have needed so many special effects during the gunplay and elsewhere (although this is probably part of the "fun" Kramer wants to offer: this IS a movie, after all). If it reminded me of anything, it would be Matthew Bright's "Freeway," though the look and style are quite different. But it's equally original. And unsettling. And fun.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.44)
36 Votes
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Over The Top & Out Of This World !!!
Just when you thought you've seen it all, here is something completly different. Movies that are off beat, over the top, or just plain "campy". Recomended for a Friday or Saturday night.

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