Posted on 4/17/07 11:15 PM
Having enjoyed Paul Walker in his role in the Fast and the Furious series I was looking forward to seeing him in a different role, away from the street racing pretty boy. Playing Joey in Wayne Kramer? ?Running Scared?, packed full of crime and killing, this movie shows no remorse to its victims or its viewers.
Joey is a bit part player in a local mob being their weapon disposal man, when his job of that is put in jeopardy along with his life as Oleg (Cameron Bright), his sons best friend and neighbour steals one of his mob-job guns, shoots his step-father (who runs a drug lab in his backyard and involved with another mob in town) and causes a world of trouble for Joey.
The actual gun that Oleg had taken to shoot his step-father was one of a mob-job that went wrong, which happened to kill a few local cops seeking some action on the side by busting a big time deal between Joey? mob and a African group. It seems all cops in Running Scared are corrupt or well on their way. Being Oleg?s best friend Nick (Alex Neuberger), Joey?s son is dragged along all night in the search for Oleg and the shiny pistol.
The film doesn?t only tackle the mob lives of those involved, but also the emotion of living under the same house as a father or step-father that you just cant stand, a couple of pedophiles who just happen to find what there looking for in the back of their truck, the Russian mafia and a badly dressed pimp (I know! Who?d of thought?) Who just ends up falling into the story as Oleg plays hero for a hooker.
The usually over-the-top Walker is likable in the film, his desire to stay alive and find Oleg, a boy who he doesn?t even like playing with his son is admirable. The situations he finds himself in can be intensely filthy, but comes out looking sanitized, except for the moment at the ice rink involving hockey pucks.
There?s no shame in Running Scared within the first few moments of the film, Walkers character Joey is munching the carpet of his lady in the laundry with his senile father in the next room. You do have moments in the film where you see more than you would expect in the way of nudity and violence, that?s not a bad thing, is it? In fact the most disturbing part of the film is that Anzor (Karel Roden), Oleg?s step-father, has a large sized tattoo on his back of John Wayne.
The use of the camera and the visual effects of the film are quite dramatic but affluent, the cinematography was displayed in a flash and powerful fashion that you expect from the all-time greats of filmmaking. The camera angles used in the car scenes especially are first-rate; the ability of Kramer to single out the characters in different scenes in a stylish and valuable manner, even during scenes involving substantial action, making it a big positive for the film.
While it?s not a show stopper, Running Scared is a film that did live up to its low expectations and a little beyond. The camera work is commendable and effective and the acting from even Paul Walker was decent at worst. Running Scared even offers a little twist at the end.