Film Review



Riffing on material he had previously explored with 1974’s Busting, the 1986 buddy-cop comedy Running Scared found versatile filmmaker Peter Hyams back in familiar and comfortable genre territory, utilizing great physical location work, crisp action sequences, and the inherent charm and chemistry of his two fantastic leads, Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal, who truly made for an odd-couple pairing if there ever was one. Written with efficiency and genial humor by Jimmy Huston and Gary Devore, this film definitely enjoyed getting down and dirty, with Hines and Crystal as Chicago cops who cheat death on a daily basis, and decide that after a life on the streets chasing down bad guys, retiring down in Key West within the friendly confines of a new bar sounds like a great idea. But, in classic narrative tradition for this type of actioner, there’s one last big arrest that needs to be made, with the majority of the film centering on the action-adventure antics of the two officers as they run around the amazingly photogenic windy city, with Hyams, as per usual, serving as his own tremendous cinematographer. A great supporting cast was on hand, including Jimmy Smits, Steven Bauer, Joe Pantoliano, Dan Hedaya, Jon Gries, and it must be noted that the 80’s-accented soundtrack if pretty damn sweet. The final action set piece is outstanding. Released by MGM in June of 1986, Running Scared became a solid box office success, and would later become a staple item on HBO and cable.

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