For the first 20-some minutes of the certifiably wild RUNNING SCARED, I was under the impression that it was a rough, gruff and straight-faced action drama. But as I watched cliché after stereotype after convention spill all over each other, each jockeying for position in this nutty, pulpy stew of a movie, I dawned on me that Wayne Kramer's baby is a tight-lipped, yet seriously tongue-in-cheek homage to everyone from Sam Peckinpah and Walter Hill to Quentin Tarantino and David Fincher. This is a gruesomely intense, slyly silly, and smoothly entertaining piece of grown-up escapism ... and to think, a movie this sinfully fun is actually anchored by a Paul Walker performance.
Many will gripe about the flick's over-reliance on standard clichés, cardboard characters, and mega-ripe tough-guy dialogue, but it only took me a few scenes to realize that writer/director Wayne Kramer was mounting his tale with a cocked eyebrow and a palpable affection for the craziest action movies under the sun. So much crazy stuff goes down during the course of Joey's nightmarish evening that RUNNING SCARED begins to feel like a "greatest hits" collection of action flick lunacy. Plus it's got a simple-yet-nifty vibe of "modern day Grimm's fairy tale," a thread that doesn't necessarily make RUNNING SCARED a better flick, but it does make it a little more fun.
Through the Looking Glass (18:39) is a typical "making of" documentary piece, in which various cast & crew members discuss the extreme nature of the flick they're working on. Interview subjects include Kramer, producer Michael Pierce, production designer Toby Corbett, and actors Paul Walker, Chazz Palminteri, Johnny Messner, Cameron Bright, and the lovely lovely Vera Farmiga. Those looking for a few insights on some of the flick's more 'controversial' components should enjoy what's offered here.
You can also flip through a pair of storyboard sequences from the "Hotel Room Shootout" and the "Hockey Rink Shootout." Rounding out the platter are the RUNNING SCARED theatrical trailer and some sneak peeks for FIREWALL, CYBER WARS, PUERTO VALLARATA SQUEEZE, and BLADE: THE SERIES, which, I must admit, looks pretty retarded.
Ah, there's also a 26-page mini-comic book that comes inside the case, which is a pretty cool little addition. If you're a DVD geek like me.