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  Running Scared It's Not How Far You Go For The Truth. . . It's How Fast You Get There.
Year: 2005
Director: Wayne Kramer
Stars: Paul Walker, Cameron Bright, Vera Farmiga, Alex Neuberger, John Noble, Chazz Palminteri, Johnny Messner, Michael Cudlitz, Ivana Milecevic, David Warshofsky, Arthur J. Nacarella, Bruce Altman
Genre: Drama, ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: The latest work from the director and writer of The Cooler (2003), Wayne Kramer, is a testosterone-filled race for the life of the allegorical Joey Gazelle (Paul Walker), a low-level, New Jersey mobster, who could be a character in The Sopranos. Joey talks tough, drives a vintage Mustang convertible, and is usually clad in a wife-beater tee with gold chains. His wife, Teresa (Vera Farmiga), is no wall flower, as she is trying to raise their son, Nicky (Alex Neuberger), in a neighborhood where their neighbor, Ivan (John Noble), is the crack-smoking brother of a Russian mobster and his wife, Mila (Ivana Milicevic), is a former Moscow prostitute who had to work off her passage to America by turning tricks for the Russian mob. Their illegitimate son, Oleg (Cameron Bright), is pals with Nicky, and the two boys share a love of ice hockey as they worship the local New Jersey franchise called the Razors.

After a robbery with Jamaican drug dealers and undercover narcotics cops has gone bad, Joey hides a gun that was used to shoot a cop in his basement. While playing hockey in the basement with Nicky, Oleg takes the gun and uses it to shoot his drugged-out stepfather, which brings on the police, and the mad ride begins for Joey Gazelle, as he has to get that gun back. The gun is a stainless steel, pearl handled, .38 snub nose, and becomes a character in the film itself as the mobsters that Joey work for, Tommy “Tombs” Perello (Johnny Messner) and his father, Frankie Perello (Arthur J. Nascarella), want that gun back, as they are being extorted by a crooked cop, Detective Rydell (Chazz Palminteri).

Not only is there the crazed quest for the gun, but also to find young Oleg, whom we learn was bodily abused by Ivan and suffers from chronic asthma. Jim Whitaker’s cinematography is akin to the digital camera wizardry in Domino and Man on Fire as the viewer is introduced to an eclectic lineup of characters including a hooker with a conscience, a mean but sartorial pimp, a husband and wife team of evil child pornographers, Latino tough guys, Russian mobsters in Brighton Beach (with their own private hockey rink), constipated cops and a classic New Jersey diner that seems to bring them all together for late night cravings. The original music by Mark Isham blends well with the digital effects in the film (of which there are many).

If you are looking for a high-adrenaline mob story with a high body count and interestingly drawn characters, then I recommend this film.
Reviewer: Harlan Whatley

 

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