Running Scared

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Running Scared
Review (5.5/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

In Running Scared, Paul Walker plays Joey Gazelle, a mobster who has been assigned the simple task of disposing of guns that have been used by the mob during various crimes. Unfortunately for Joey, one of the guns used in a recent murder has ended up in the hands of his 10-year old neighbour Oleg (Cameron Bright) who, in turn, uses the gun to shoot his abusive, drug-addicted, John Wayne-loving father. This puts Joey in a bit of a conundrum because if that gun is linked to the mob murder, heads are going to roll, beginning with his own. This sends Joey off on a wild night of trying to find a gun that has seemingly changed hands a half a dozen times, find Oleg, save his wife and son, fight off the mob and prevent himself from ending up "swimming with the fishes".

Running Scared is a movie full of twists and turns, blood and guts, guns, pimps, deception, the Russian mob, the Italian mob, dirty cops and good ones, hookers, hockey and even child porn. Yeah, that's right, child porn. Don't ask me how it fits in because I'm not even sure I understood that whole bit. But the movie features pretty much every low-life and crime you could imagine. It has a good premise, some great moments, a few interesting side stories and what I thought was a great ending, but there is just so much going on in this movie that it just sort of runs off onto its own tangent and by the time it finds its way back, it is probably too late for most people.

I mean the whole idea of having the missing gun changing hands all the time, the dirty cops, the mobsters and what not are all good ideas. Hell, I could even live with the John Wayne-loving meth addict. But the whole child porn, snuff film angle really left me scratching my head. And the glow in the dark hockey rink is sure to offend every red-blooded Canadian on the planet. Even near the end of the movie, there's a moment with a John Wayne tattoo where the movie tried to be humourous but it's not.

In the end, Running Scared is a movie with a good idea and some decent execution but the misses in the movie are enormous and will probably leave a bitter taste in the mouths of most people who see it. I didn't mind Running Scared for the one time I saw it but I really don't care if I ever see it again. It's an okay movie but not one that will leave any lasting desire to ever see it again.

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