Aug 11, 2013

Running Scared: A Hint of Emotional Connection

Running Scared (2006) is a mess.  It stars Paul Walker (left) as Joey Gazelle, a Mafia thug entrusted with getting rid of some guns.  He takes them home, where his son Nicky (Alex Neuberger) and best friend Oleg (Cameron Bright) find them.  Oleg uses one to kill his abusive, racist, homophobic stepfather. Distraught, his mom kills herself by blowing up the meth lab in the basement.

Oleg goes on the run, pursued by Nicky and Joey and the mob.  He meets prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers, and so on.  He is grabbed by a pair of ridiculous fairytale bogeymen (I'm not kidding).  There's some sort of confrontation at an ice hockey rink, but I'm not paying attention anymore.  Then Joey dies, but he doesn't really, and the movie ends happily with him retired from the mob and moving to a farm with his wife, Nicky, and Oleg.

There are way too many monsters;  one thinks, "Who's Oleg going to run into next, Freddie Krueger?"  And even the "positive" characters, Joey and his wife, are grim, mean, homophobic, and say f*** every third word: "The f*** gun is on the street. This whole f*** g*** thing is about to f*** blow up."

But there's a gay connection: a homoerotic buddy bond between Nicky and Oleg.

Or maybe it's just a regular friendship, but with all the ridiculously over-the-top nastiness going on, you latch onto any hint of emotional connection.

Paul Walker is, of course, a superstar. Cameron Bright has been in a few gay-subtext movies, notably The X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).  Alex Neuberger (left) retired from acting after the horrible boy-meets-girl Underdog (2007).