film reel image

film reel image

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Running Scared 1986 * * * Stars


First, you gotta get past that fake, shaving cream snow (must have been Chicago in September). Then you gotta get past the fact that Billy Crystal is a little miscast as a detective (it's a stretch). Now you can enjoy 1986's Running Scared, an action comedy film that doesn't take itself seriously until it has to. Check out the heavy-handed shootout at the end with elevators and Christmas decor and what-not. "I love this job". Indeed.

Anyway, Running Scared is a wave rider in the buddy cop genre that seemed to get its groove on in the early to mid-80s. Peter Hyams directs at a breezy clip and this is normally a dude that could do without the funny (what with The Star Chamber, 2010, and Capricorn One on his resume). Every scene in "Scared" involves a quip or an attempt at the smarty boots. Every Chi-town locale gives you the warm fuzzies if you're a Chicagoan (and I am). Every back and forth between star Crystal (mentioned earlier) and star Gregory Hines gives you the old, bromantic married couple feels. I mean this film is fun and tongue-in-cheek and occasionally violent (it's a drug dealer flick so it kinda has to be). "Always searching for the real thing." Heck-s yeah!

As something about a couple of one-liner police officers who constantly contemplate moving to Florida after one last job (on the job), "Scared" hands you the reverence that helmer Hyams watched 48 Hrs. and Beverly Hills Cop and said, "let's see how I can hybrid the two." Interesting. Running Scared is not as blackly dark and/or pulsating as "Hrs." and its humor is a little drier than "Cop". He basically fashions a kooky character study about Crystal (as Danny Costanzo) and Hines (as Ray Hughes) and gives them a rapport that makes you think they were best buds even off camera. Add a splashy "Greed decade" soundtrack and a slaphappy swipe of deputy donuts and you have a pic that's at least worth a recommendation on the low. "In the running".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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