Running Scared 86

I had forgotten how good Running Scared was. I had only seen it once over ten years ago and that was when it aired on TV Land when it aired movies. Seeing this movie in all of its glory didn’t really change how much I enjoyed it but it was much more violent than I realized. It wasn’t incredibly violent until the final shootout, but that shootout is something else.

I found myself laughing at intervals in this movie where they were well paced. I feel like some of the laughs came from the script from Gary Devore and Jimmy Huston and some of the laughs come from the stars. I’m sure Peter Hyams was able to get the mixture just right with his style of directing. Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines have amazing chemistry together and make the movie as good as it is. You really feel like they’ve been partners for years. This was Jimmy Smits’ first movie, and he plays an amazing antagonist. That’s not mentioning the wealth of star power in the rest of the cast.

I really want to talk about the story and how it feels like its something that I haven’t seen before. The main characters being somewhat shitty cops isn’t new but them not being corrupt is nice. They aren’t by the book kinds of cops, but they want to dole out justice but on their own terms. Them being tired of their careers after being forced to take vacation and then trying to retire, but then deciding to stick with the job at the end of the movie really feels like something that I’ve never seen in a movie before. That’s just some of the story beats that make Running Scared stand out which is crazy with this movie being from the mid-80s.

There are some crazy stunts in this movie and almost all of them include cars. The one crazy stunt that doesn’t involve cars feels even more impressive to me with when Running Scared was made, with scaling the State Center and then dangling from the ceiling is crazy. That’s not mentioning the crazy dives and falls in the final shootout. The music by Rod Temperton is fantastic. The song that shares a name with the movie is awesome, it has nothing to do with the movie per say but it’s an awesome way to start the movie.

Running Scared is such a fun watch and a great action comedy that I feel like deserved to get at least one sequel. The chemistry between Crystal and Hines makes me wish that there were more movies with them together. There’s so much to like about this movie but it seems to get lost in the shuffle of 80s movies. It leaves HBO Max after January ends, which is a shame but I hope it goes to another service. I give Running Scared 9 baggies of sand out of 10.

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