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Running Scared

by Archives March 1, 2006

Grade: C

Don’t you just love it when a title tells you exactly what you should be doing halfway through the movie? Running Scared does exactly that. Too bad its honesty is probably its sole redeeming quality.

Seriously, I must say I was not exactly thrilled going out to see this movie. With its omnipresent marketing campaign, posters and trailers are virtually everywhere we turn. After being harassed by the preview for a few weeks now, I went to answer the question that kept going around in my mind; does he get that hockey puck smashed onto his face? In my quest for truth, I took my place in an empty theatre, waiting for my martyrdom to begin. And boy did I get it right.

From the first scene, the movie sets the pace for what lies ahead: over-the-top violence and enough gunshots to send your head spinning. The plot, however, is as simple as can be. A man must retrieve a weapon that, once put in the wrong hands, could land him in a whole lot of trouble. Once his wife and son get involved in the frantic chase, the stakes reach new heights. For two hours, audiences follow one night in the life of a gun. And that gun sure has a perilous existence.

Paul Walker is somewhat better than we have come to expect from him. Going from downright awful to not that bad, his role of a family man has him spending most of his time running around the city with his neighbour’s kid while he should be trying to protect his wife and own son.

The rest of the cast delivers highly forgettable performances, all of them caught in underdeveloped characters. Some of them come from absolutely nowhere, popping up to advance one of the many sub-plots that come along. From pedophiles to pimps, none of them serve much of a purpose.

Running Scared also answers a question that must have, at one point, bugged one of the writers: How many times can you squeeze the f-word into two hours? Although the movie tries to use it as much as possible, don’t try and keep count or you’ll be in for a major headache. if that’s not already the case.

However, on the technical side, Running Scared is downright astonishing. With some funky camera tricks and a killer editing, the movie is sure to keep you visually stimulated. That is, however, if you come equipped with a strong stomach. The movie is punctuated with numerous scenes of gratuitous violence. Although often uncalled-for, these scenes will satisfy anyone with a craving for blood.

All of that being said, Running Scared is not a bad movie. It’s not a good movie, but it’s not as bad as some of Paul Walker’s earlier endeavours; remember Into the Blue? Yeah, I’m still trying to erase those painful memories as well. Paul Walker has come a long way, but still has a lot to accomplish before he can actually start being taken seriously. Let’s just take this one step at a time. baby steps, that is.

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