It’s been said by people hipper than me that once a movie gets made about ‘the latest craze’ (break dancing, crumping, bacon-flavoring), that means the concept is already done and on it’s way into our collective dusty back room. Exhibit A—the new blu-ray release “Run.”
Usually this watershed event –helping klll a trend by building a fiction film around it—seems to happen a few months to a year after whatever craze has realistically peaked. Maybe I’m just out of touch, but “Run,” which hangs its hat on the slender peg of parkour, takes that concept several steps further, arriving seemingly about five whole years too late, like a postcard from the pop culture past of 2008.
In “Run,” William Moseley (“Chronicles of Narnia”) plays Daniel, a high schooler who uses his free-running skills in robberies to make a living for himself and his widowed father, Mike (Adrian Pasdar). They live a nomadic life, on the run from Daniel’s crime boss uncle Jeremiah (Eric Roberts), who holds Mike responsible for the death of his sister, Daniel’s mother. But when Daniel falls in love, and falls in with good friends for the first time, Mike’s plan to confront their past puts everything at risk, including Daniel.
Sadly, ringing the doorbell long after the party’s over is the least of this film’s problems. Shot in depressing, washed-out tones, writer/director Simone Bartesaghi also saddles his cast with a hokey, padded out script that starts lame and gets less convincing the further it goes along.
Despite the trappings of a crime thriller and a dour self-seriousness throughout, Daniel and his friends come across more like the ‘Parkour Clubhouse Gang.’ They flip and bounce and gad about in hoodies and baggy jeans, urban hipster-teers jumping over dumpsters on their hands and landing twenty foot leaps onto concrete without snapping their ankles like Fritos.
TV veteran Pasdar (“Heroes”) tries to inject a note of much-needed dignity in his low-key performance, and “Run” occasionally finds a burst of energy in the visual and kinetic pleasures of some decent freerunning stuntwork. But for a movie effectively staking a claim on that particular activity, those bursts are few and far between and surrounded by tired, thoughtless junk, like a serviceable watch in the display case of a sad, sad pawn shop.
Watching this misfire limp to its conclusion, I was reminded of a classic line spoken by Jim on “The Office” (a single line which is more entertaining than all of “Run”): “Parkour is the fastest way to get from point A to point B, where point A is delusion and point B is the hospital.” “Run” suffers under its own set of delusions, chief of which is that the finished product is anything more than a clueless time-waster.
The Blu-ray of “Run” is presented in widescreen format, in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. There are 3D and 2D versions of the film on the same disc (the 2D version is reviewed here). The disc suffers from the dim, underlit cinematography, and there seemed to me to be a noticeable reduction in depth and detail compared to other Blu-rays. There are options for English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
The audio is presented in Dolby 5.1 TrueHD, with an option for Stereo 2.0. Problems with the soundtrack are negligible, without the aural equivalent of the gray film that seems to occlude the video. However, old fogies like myself may find the annoying Skrillex-lite music score too loud in the mix at times.
“Run: The Inside Look”: A short, standard making-of featurette, with cast interviews. Adrian Pasdar reveals the real reason he got involved in this film, and it’s actually kind of nice.
Laughable and way late to the party, “Run” is the parkour thriller no one has been asking for.