Running Scared: A Cautionary Tale

Category: , , By Glamour Diva & galaxyMafia

GalaxyMafia has said it before and she will say it again: There is no one as pretty as Paul Walker (not even Wentworth Miller, sorry!). Unfortunately, there is no one quite so irrevocably and categorically dumb, either. Never was the evidence of that fact more clear than with Walker’s latest theatrical release, “Running Scared”.

Oops. . .he did it again!

Paul Walker has said in the past that he hates being called a pretty boy, and that he disdains movie roles that rely on his looks as opposed to his acting skills. And you have to know that it would be hard for Walker to disdain anything, as he probably has no frame of reference for the meaning of that word. And as for those mythical acting skills, galaxyMafia supposes that Walker is talking about his ability to come off as a scatterbrained lug nut in every part he plays.

Walker is no less the ludicrous Neanderthal in “Running Scared”. He plays the same sun-kissed blue eyed laid-back slacker, the flip flop-wearing, hang-ten surfer fool that he always manages to pull off. The only difference is, in “Running Scared”, Paul bastardizes and mutilates a Brooklyn accent. His supposed to come off like a “Sopranos”-type hood but he ends up sounding like Fran Drescher – loud, nasal and annoying.

His character, a small time hood named Joey Gazelle, is given the task of getting rid of a gun that was used to kill a cop. It’s a job so easy that even a monkey could do it, and that’s an insult to the monkey. Instead of breaking the gun up into several pieces and dissolving it in battery acid, Joey hides the gun in his basement in a hole covered by what looks to be particleboard. This might not be so bad if Joey didn’t have a belligerent young son who doesn’t know when to sit down, shut up and do what the hell his parents tell him. The son is crafty, insubordinate and too damn curious for his own damn good. So why would Joey put guns where they could be easily found by his kid? Why, to advance the ridiculous plot, of course.

But the funny this is, “Running Scared”, despite its advertisements, is not a film about crime, or the mob or guns. Even though it steals plot devices from various movies, including “Pulp Fiction”, “The Matrix” and “Snatch” to name a few, at the core of its being, “Running Scared” is a cautionary tale for young boys full of too much piss and vinegar, for the audience, and most importantly, for Paul Walker.

Hansel Reinvented

Just because Paul Walker stars in this flick doesn’t mean it’s about him. It’s not Joey who’s running scared. If the movie were about Paul’s character, it would be called “Fucking Stupid”. The truth is, “Running Scared” is a description of the real star of this film, Cameron Bright, who plays Oleg.

Little Oleg, an asthmatic, is a friend of Joey’s son and it is his character that sets the wheels in motion. Oleg is the victim of an abusive, John Wayne-obsessed stepfather who beats him. His mother, a former Russian prostitute, loves him but is apathetic and ineffective. After Oleg steals the gun Joey the Ignoramus was supposed to ditch, that’s when the script is officially flipped.

From that point on, “Running Scared” becomes a warning to bad little boys who disobey their parents. As the movie progresses, we follow Oleg on a twisted fairytale as he encounters grave dangers that multiply exponentially. Oleg has to deal with a ghoulish crack addict who’s a cross between the Grim Reaper and a Rasta. A “Mack Daddy” pimp and his prostitute. A creepy husband and wife child molesting/tormenting team whose fiendish evilness was so apathetic and yet so pervasive that galaxyMafia is still glancing over her shoulders every now and then. And if that weren’t enough, he almost gets his ass shot off at a hockey rink by a Russian mobster. Every step of the way, down every path Oleg takes there is blood, guns, carnage, and death.

The lesson to young boys is clear:
Don’t steal
Don’t play with guns
Don’t mess with drugs
Don’t talk to strangers
Don’t play hockey – after all, you aren’t Canadian.

Stop the movie, I want my fugging money back!

“Running Scared” has already been made before, several times, by much better writers and directors. You’d be better off renting “Snatch” or “Reservoir Dogs” than wasting your money on this ridiculous tripe.

Still, if you must go, look out for these bright spots:

1) The word “nigga” used to describe people who are not of color. Don’t know what the writer was trying to prove, or what kind of political statement he was trying to achieve but, when a blue-eyed, blond-haired California white boy with salt water in his veins and sand between his ears is referred to as a “nigga” by another, less-dazzling but still equally white guy, you know it’s time to create a damn drinking game. Break out the Chivas Regal and the Alize!
2) Oleg’s crazy as fuck stepfather is fine as hell!! You don’t get to see this until the end of the movie (and that means you’ll be forced to either sit through the entire two hour farce or try to sneak in and catch the last thirty minutes) but girls, it’s a real treat. His body is banging up against a wall, knocking a hole right through it and coming out on the other side!! Now, the dude looks like he’s been beat with the ugly stick about the face but, from the neck down, it’s on like a pot of chicken bones!
3) The end credits. Even though you’ll want to get the hell up and leave, try to stick around. You’ll see Oleg’s nightmarish adventure drawn in vivid color like a fairytale graphic novel. It’s cool and original and, really, it’s the best damn part of the movie. Also, watch for all the Eastern European names listed as film crew. Apparently, part of the film was shot in Prague although, to galaxyMafia, it looked like they were in New Jersey.
4) The scene in which Paul Walker gets hit in the mouth with a hockey puck and manages to keep all his teeth. The bad guys beat the shit out of him, and yet, he remains beautiful even with his face in a pool of his own steaming blood.
5) The F-word. Who the hell knew there were so many different variations of the word “fuck”. They used it as every part of speech – as a noun, a verb, an adjective, an adverb, a gerund, a dangling participle. . .

Memo to Paul Walker:

Paul, this is the last time galaxyMafia will say this: You’re pretty. Just do a damn romantic comedy and call if a freaking day. You don’t see Matt McCougnehey bitching and kvetching, do you? That fool knows he’s handsome and he understands what kind of movies a handsome guy works well in. “Failure to Launch” was No. 1 at the box office this weekend. Paul, that could have been you. . .it should have been you. I mean, Matt’s got his own place but, you’ve said yourself you’re a scrub. Stop trying to fight the inevitable. Just give in. You’re never going to be a big action star, or a gritty character actor. You’re pretty so my advice to you is to just accept it, and move on to a starring role with Reese Witherspoon in a delightful romantic remake of “Roman Holiday”, or “Father Goose”, or “Funny Face” or whatever the damn hell.

2005 copyright galaxyMafia. . .should have went to see the movie with Paul and the snow dogs instead!

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