‘Running’ to become a classic

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By Andrea Solis

Paul Walker plays Joey Gazelle in “Running Scared” (New Line Pictures)

By Andrea Solis

What do dirty cops, pimps, child molesters, whores, mobsters, mothers, tweekers, the FBI, hockey teams and John Wayne have in common?

You’ll certainly find out if you catch this cardinal collage of carnage “Running Scared.”

Writer and director Wayne Kramer (“The Cooler”) will certainly garner some attention for this graphic and gratuitous gamble of a movie.

There are plenty of gunfights, plot twists and special effects to keep you glued to the screen.

It’s hard to know what flows more freely in this movie, the blood or the curse words, but both are delivered with a visceral authenticity.

The movie follows the trail of a silver snub nosed .38 and the hands it crosses. It intertwines the stories of the characters belonging to those hands Tarantino-style without being a cheap imitation.

The “everyman” played by Paul Walker (“The Fast and the Furious”), is a hunky hero/badass mobster/family man who has got to get his hands on the hot .38 copkiller which he was supposed to dispose of for his bosses; if he doesn’t, they are going to dispose of him.

A 10-year-old neighbor kid, played by Cameron Bright (“Birth”), stole the gun to shoot his abusive dad and takes off into the cold cruel city where he loses possession of it.

The film also features Chazz Palminteri (“Bullets Over Broadway”) as a dirty cop with zero scruples who fans the frenzy to find the gun.

“Running Scared” is not your cookie cutter action formula film. Kramer reaches into his cinematic toolbox to give us some great camera angles and artistic composition.

The movie dilates in and out with a sort of grainy 8 mm camera look to the shots adding just a little more true grit while drawing the viewer in to watch what feels like a naughty peepshow at times.

There are also a few moments that draw upon M. Night Shyamalan’s use of retro B horror movie monster allusions and symbolism.

A few flaws fetter the feature film. Kramer pulls some hat tricks to make the puzzle pieces fit in the plot, but these faux pas are forgivable in light of the overall entertainment value of the film.

“Running Scared” may not enter the annals of famous filmmaking, but with enough word of mouth advertising to compensate for the studio’s lack of it, it could easily become a pop culture cult classic which spurns other movie makers to think outside of the box office.

Gunfight in blacklight anyone?

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