You Can’t Run Forever

You Can't Run Forever
You Can’t Run Forever
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This week, two movies that are being launched share a common theme. The Strangers: Chapter 1 is the first part of Renny Harlin’ re-imagination of Bryan Bertin’s hit 2008 horror movie while You Can’t Run Forever is also on point to this discussion.

The film starts off with a thrilling chase scene that is more like thriller than horror but equally scary thanks to Michelle Schumacher’s incredible talent as an actress and writer. Unfortunately, it throws too much at us in terms of competing protagonists and themes which leaves us wondering what the movie actually is about. However, for most parts leading up to the rolls credits it is mostly a visceral joy ride reminding us how terrifying Simmons can be on big screens.

You Can’t Run Forever begins on a meandering path with an apparently innocent middle-aged man who turns out to be Wade (Simmons). He zips through picturesque landscapes on a motorbike before eventually landing at a rest stop even though he doesn’t seem like the kind of person who would do such thing.

Guns are pulled, bodies fall and thus begins police investigations. “Does it matter?” Wade asked sarcastically as he aimed a loaded gun at the face of an unarmed man just because he had rubbed him off wrongly. In this day and age, where gun rights are always hot topic in America; one may see why people might think twice about putting guns into wrong hands as expressed by You Can’t Run Forever which could easily have been created in Hollywood or New York.

This old guy looks downright formidable – just like Fletcher from Whiplash, whom J.K. Simmons portrayed so brilliantly back in 2014 – when he appeared in his t-shirt only wearing essentially the same clothes as his Oscar-winning character did four years ago. Not only did Fletcher never casually roam around town armed looking for victims who might say something irritating enough to get under his skin — especially not girls with panic attacks like Miranda (Isabelle Anaya), rebellious teenagers.

Miranda’s father died the year before and after Miranda has yet another showdown with her mother, Jenny (Fernanda Urrejola), concerned stepfather Eddie (Allen Leech) decides to take her out on a drive. They happen across Wade who is driving somewhere in the middle of nowhere in that very country community where this film happens to be set. At any rate, when Miranda mouths off rudely at nosy Wade, then our A-story begins to unfold horribly.

Sometimes scary things that are filmed during daylight hours are even scarier once they appear on large screens such as what happens between Miranda and Wade. Then night closes in on the forested area that Miranda races through trying to “Run Forever” away from him but there is no escaping this relentless murderer. It sends shivers down one’s spine just hearing Wade cry out “Miranda….?” as he searches for her through the woods all night long. J.K Simmons’ portrayal of this part of the story was highly physical and intense.

Miranda’s mom, Jenny, was getting worried and sent the likeable Dwyer (Graham Patrick Martin) and Morgan (Andres Velez), his deputies out to search for her daughter. It is correct that she does this because suddenly there is news about other victims who have died in droves at the hands of a balding old white man around the area. I wonder who that could be…

Jenny takes the role of a classical true crime detective by making some searches online after gathering few details regarding Wade himself. She comes across a video on YouTube of a young Wade, cameraman Schumacher unexpectedly showing us how he became like that. Sometimes one would argue that it is more interesting not knowing what drives someone like Wade insane but with this little bit of back-story she made an intriguing point.

Towards the end, when certain heroes unite in order to fight back against it, we may be reminded about the climax ending in “The Girl on The Train”(whose novel was exponentially stronger but that’s for another day). This third act is thrilling unfortunately; one wonderful character gets stopped too prematurely- for such thriller as this, maybe it would have been better if ended with cliffhangers. It’s all pretty jumbled up trying to wrap things up.

Similarly, Simmons worked with Schumacher on their 2017 film I’m Not Here where he also starred alongside Simmons silently starting since their first work together. On You Can’t Run Forever though, Simmons figuratively swam around in the mouthy part and yet was perhaps more emotionally affecting than I Am Not Here. However both films are story were different ways on how past affects present although even if You Can’t Run Forever lacks some of deepness from its remarkable antecedent movie memoability wise it’s still an engaging psychological thriller to watch out for.

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