Running Scared

2006 · New Line Cinema
Running Scared — Movie Review by Karthik
9 out of 10
Directing Credits
Wayne Kramer
Writing Credits
Written by Wayne Kramer
Paul Walker, Cameron Bright, Vera Farmiga, Karel Roden, Johnny Messner, Ivana Milicevic, Alex Neuberger, Chazz Palminteri

The Review

Joey Gazelle (Paul Walker) is a family man who also works for the local Perello mob.  During a drug deal organised by Tommy Perello (Johnny Messner), some dirty cops show up, and a shootout ensues.  Joey and Tommy later make it outside.  Tommy gives Joey the gun which was used to kill the cops, and instructs him to get rid of it.

Joey takes it home though, and stashes it in the basement.  His son Nicky (Alex Neuberger) and the neighbour's boy Oleg (Cameron Bright) watch Joey doing this though, and when shots are fired later that night next door, Joey realises the worst has happened — apparently, Oleg has taken the gun, and used it to shoot his abusive father Anzor (Karel Roden).  Now, Oleg is missing, and the mob as well as the police are looking for the gun.  Joey is in deep trouble, unless he can get the gun back before either the cops or the mob get to Oleg.  What follows is a night of hell for Joey, Nicky, Oleg and Joey's wife Teresa (Vera Farmiga).

Wayne Kramer's film is an amazing piece of work.  It grabs the viewer at frame one and never lets up until the end, with the story taking the most unexpected turns.  The movie also has an edge to it, and is shot in a flashy, stylish way.  As I've read in reviews and as the end credits would have us believe, the whole thing is set up as a modern-day, gritty fairy tale!  The film is also very well acted, particularly notable performances being Paul Walker's as Joey and Vera Farmiga as his wife.  The characterisations are great as well.

The ending was a bit abrupt though and stretched believability a little too much, but one can easily forgive this, considering how good the rest of the movie is.  Be warned, though, that this is most definitely not a movie for the kids, as it has plenty of violence and profanity (the count of swearwords beats Pulp Fiction), a bit of nudity, and one sequence involving child molestation.

At any rate, the engaging storyline, well developed characters, great acting, and overall technical excellence elevate this movie above the rest.  Brilliant stuff, a must-watch!

Other Notes

According to the IMDb trivia page for this film, the word "fuck" is used 328 times, whereas Wikipedia puts the count at 275.

Not to be confused with the 1986 Gregory Hines/Billy Crystal-starrer with the same title.

More Details

Running Time: 117 minutes | Country: US | Genre: Action/Thriller/Crime

Ratings Info

I rate all movies or game add-ons on a scale of 1 to 10 points.  1 is the lowest score, 6 is barely above average, 8 is good, and 10 is excellent (this score doesn't indicate something that is perfect in every way — it just means that I enjoyed it a lot).  You'll find that I tend to give ratings of 8 and above often (that's only because I enjoy whatever I'm reviewing!).  Reviews are updated as felt necessary.  Of course, everything said in these reviews is my humble opinion only.
Review Date 6 Oct 06
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The Author

Karthik Abhiram

27-year old Taurean (birthday 15-May-82), Assistant Manager - HR at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd in Hyderabad, India.  Previously, did Post Graduate Diploma in Management from T A Pai Management Institute (2003-05) and before that, Computer Science Engineering from Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (1999-2003).

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