I know it’s only 2 months into the year, but so far, Running Scared takes my prize for favorite movie of the year. I think this might have even beat out some of my last year’s favorites. It’s a bold statement, considering that it’s a Paul Walker movie, but forget what you know about him. Forget about Into The Blue, and The Fast And The Furious, just watch Running Scared
. It’s no secret that I hate the majority of the movies that I see nowadays, and I feel like everything’s regurgitated Hollywood garbage. Running Scared, while it had an A Bronx Tale feel to it, and a Memento filmography feel to it, is definitely its own movie. Here’s a brief synopsis in case you hadn’t heard of this movie: (coicidentally the only time I saw a preview for this was back in November. I didn’t even know it came out this week, until I did our “New In Theaters” section)
Joey (Walker) is a peeon in the mob. His main function is to get rid of the guns that the higher ups give him. The neighbor’s kid takes one of these guns, and shoots the step-father (who’s in the Russian mob). Come to find out, this is the same gun that one of Joey’s compares used to shoot a dirty cop. The entire movie is a wild goose chase trying to get the gun back before a) the cops find it, b) the Russian mob finds them, and c) the mob he works for finds out he didn’t dispose of the gun.
Why did I like this movie? Well, simple: guns, violence, and death. Plus Vera Farmiga (who I know and loved from TV’s Touching Evil [R.i.P Touching Evil]) is in this movie, and kicks major ass.
With most recent movies, I’ve felt bored, and had the “is it almost over, yet?” feeling. Not Running Scared, it’s action all the way to the very end. Do they try to throw in the “Aha!” moment at the end? Sort of, but I won’t get into that, I don’t want to spoil it. But, I will say, that when you get to the end, you weren’t totally expecting what happens. (No, it doesn’t involve Bruce Willis being a ghost.)
Let’s face it, any movie that’s about the mob that includes Chazz Palminteri (even if as a cop) is a good mob movie. Running Scared included. While the movie doesn’t focus a lot on the mob, or what they do and don’t do, it does a fair job of letting you inside the mob life. You get a feel for the urgency in which they deal with things (like lost guns). The whole story is a long, 360 degree roundabout story. Parts of the beginning tie into the middle, which also tie into the end. Very Crash-like. It’s nice to see Hollywood writer’s writing a mob-movie with more of a plot than “drugs, murder, coverup” to it. The script for this movie was excellent.
I’m also glad, for once, that it wasn’t just the “main star” putting on the superb performance. The entire cast of this movie does an impeccable job in their performances. In addition to Walker and Farmiga, youngsters Cameron Bright and Alex Neuberger play Oleg and Nicky (the neighbor’s kid, and Walker’s kid), and do a bangup job in their roles. Palminteri plays a crooked cop, Rydell, and is his usual charming “f-this, f-that” self. Throw in a handful of unknowns playing Russian and American mobsters, and you’ve got yourself a great cast, who all play their parts excellently.
Do I wish anything were different about this movie? No, I don’t think I’d change anything. The “hockey” scene is tough to watch though. Seeing any man have hockey pucks shot as his face would make even the toughest people go “damn, that musta hurt”, no exception here.
My snob opinion is, if you liked A Bronx Tale, you’ll like this movie. If you like highly suspenseful, twisting, action packed movies, that are very well written, you’ll love this movie. If you want to see a movie that’ll make you think twice about hating Paul Walker, see this movie.