Running Scared | Chicago Reader

Running Scared

Peter Hyams reprises his own Busting (1974) with a functional 1986 actioner about two wisecracking Chicago cops (Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal) and their vendetta against a Latino crime lord (Jimmy Smits). Comedy duos, with Hines and Crystal swapping weary seen-it-all sarcasms, alternate with overscaled, wildly improbable action sequences (a car chase that takes to the tracks of the Ravenswood el), creating a curious rhythm of the totally numb and the hysterically hyperventilated. Hyams, a former Chicagoan, finds some fresh, atmospheric views of the city (though in his zeal to simulate a snowy Chicago winter, he's sprayed everything in sight with fire-extinguisher foam—a strange vision, to say the least), and his taste for rushing, swooping camera movements at least finds a healthy outlet in the action passages. But there is something disturbing in the way the film elevates cynicism and detachment into heroic attitudes. With Steven Bauer, Darlanne Fluegel, Joe Pantoliano, and Dan Hedaya.

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