We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
Speaking of movies that go over the top, "Running Scared" goes so far over the top, it circumnavigates the top and doubles back on itself; it's the Mobius Strip of over-the-topness. I am in awe. It throws in everything but the kitchen sink. Then it throws in the kitchen sink, too, and the combo washer-dryer in the laundry room, while the hero and his wife are having sex on top of it.
I never tire of quoting the French director Truffaut, who said that he was interested only in movies that were about the agony of making cinema or the ecstasy of making cinema. "Running Scared" eliminates the middle man. It's not even about making cinema. It's just about the agony and the ecstasy.
The movie stars Paul Walker. You won't catch him acting in "Running Scared." The movie never slows down enough. He simply behaves, at an alarming velocity. After an opening flash-forward that features a car crash, the movie flashes back to a drug deal that goes bad. All the crooked cops and drug dealers in the room are killed, except for Joey Gazelle (Walker) and a guy who tells him to take all of the guns and lose them. Actually, maybe some other guys survived, too. This is the kind of movie where the next scene starts before the body count.
Gazelle hides the guns in his basement. His son Nicky (Alex Neuberger) is best friends with Oleg (Cameron Bright), the Russian kid who lives next door. Oleg's father Anzor (Karel Roden) grew up in Russia watching John Wayne’s "The Cowboys" over and over again, maybe 1000 times. But Anzor only had a 10-minute version of the film. So profoundly did it affect him that he had an image of the Duke tattooed on his back. When he came to America and saw the whole movie, he found out Wayne gets shot. This was so traumatic that he turned bitter, beat his wife and terrorized his son, who steals a gun from the Gazelle's basement and shoots his father, wounding him right about where the sheriff's badge would be.