Newest Reviews
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Night Drive
Toll, The
Last Bus, The
Purple Sea
Pebble and the Boy, The
Mosquito State
Newest Articles
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
  Running Scared Cop A Load Of This
Year: 1986
Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Gregory Hines, Billy Crystal, Steven Bauer, Darlanne Fluegel, Joe Pantoliano, Dan Hedaya, Jon Gries, Tracy Reed, Jimmy Smits, John DiSanti, Larry Hankin, Don Calfa, Robert Lesser, Bob Zrna, Deanna Dunagan
Genre: Comedy, Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ray Hughes (Gregory Hines) and Danny Costanzo (Billy Crystal) are two Chicago cops who are forever lamenting how their lot in life could be better, after all who appreciates them? Take today when they are standing about in the freezing December cold awaiting some kind of sign that they are ready to make a case against a drug baron, and in the meantime opt to play basketball with some young men which ends with Danny getting punched in the face. He doesn't feel like whipping out his badge, and besides they notice their quarry Julio Gonzales (Jimmy Smits) pulling up in a Mercedes - wasn't he supposed to be in custody?

Some would say the formula for buddy cop movies was perfected in the eighties, and every try at it since has been harking back to its heyday in the hope that their popularity can be recreated with modern audiences. But it was true those audiences by the end of that decade were somewhat fatigued by the sheer number of entries in the genre, which left even the best of them looking samey: you knew what to expect with these, the goodnatured banter, the comedy insults, the plot interrupted for an action sequence, the female lead very much a third wheel to the relationship between the two men. There were variations, but by the time 1990 came along regular moviegoers could have probably written their own.

Running Scared was certainly nothing new in that style, but now it seemed a lot easier to take as an item of nostalgia, much in the way its spin-off video featuring Michael McDonald singing Sweet Freedom was, a video where the two stars joined in with the singer for a prime slice of eighties cheese. You could simply watch that and get the measure of the movie, but if you had a little longer to spare this turned out to be skillfully made, with Peter Hyams by this time a sure hand at the helm and the interplay between Hines and Crystal effortlessly bringing out the laughs, nothing fall down hilarious, but you did appreciate watching them interact with one another because they genuinely appeared to enjoy their company.

As would you, even if the finer details of the plot were somewhat muffled by the emphasis on the chummier elements. That starts with them arresting one of Gonzales' goons, who goes by the name of Snake (Joe Pantoliano) and is carrying with him a briefcase packed with fifty thousand dollars which alerts the cops' suspicions. He insists he's innocent, but they're not buying it, and besides they need an excuse to bring Gonzales in so if that really is drug money what better reason than this? It wouldn't be a buddy movie without some kind of bungling to show their human side, so these two are not some monolithic fighting machine but all too fallible, not that they come across as especially bothered one way or the other for the most part.

To illustrate, there's even a spell about halfway through the movie where the easygoing levels get turned up to maximum and they decide to take a break from all these gangsters and bullets, so head off to Florida for a vacation, hanging out in a loud wardrobe with some nubile young ladies and making up their minds to retire from the force run a bar there - it's here the inevitable montage set to Michael McDonald enters into the picture. They do return to chilly Chicago after a while, though you get the impression that if they did indeed forget about bringing in the bad guys and spend the rest of the film relaxing with a pina colada in one hand and a bikini-clad lovely in the other they would be content, and you might be too. But there has been a dearth of action sequences up to that point, so Hyams put into play an excellent one to pump up the adrenaline where the cops drive along a railway track through the city after Gonzales. As expected, love interests Darlanne Fluegel and Tracy Reed are truly disposable, and it's the male bonding that counts. Music by Rod Temperton.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2249 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film


Peter Hyams  (1943 - )

American director, writer and cinematographer, mostly of standard genre movies: action, sci-fi, thriller, etc. After a career as a TV newsman (he was a Vietnam War reporter) he moved into films, writing and producing T.R. Baskin. A couple of TV movies later, on the big screen he made Busting, Capricorn One, Hanover Street, Outland, 2010, The Presidio, a remake of Narrow Margin, Stay Tuned, Timecop, Sudden Death, The Relic, End of Days, The Musketeer and A Sound of Thunder.

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: