Combustible Celluloid
Stream it:
Download at i-tunes iTunes
With: Ron Perlman, Michael Pitt, Dree Hemingway, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Mark Boone Junior, William Forsythe, Sam Quartin, Kylie Rogers, Evan Assante, Madilyn Kellam, Mitchell Paulsen, Slaine, Darryl Cox, Renée Willett
Written by: John Swab
Directed by: John Swab
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 93
Date: 06/26/2020

Run with the Hunted (2020)

2 Stars (out of 4)

A Twist on 'Oliver'

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Taking inspiration from Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist, this crime drama offers a few powerful moments and some strong performances, but suffers from a general lack of logic and emotional honesty.

In Run with the Hunted, young Oscar is sent by his mother to bring a plate of food to the neighbors, a little girl, Loux, and her younger brother Amos, who live with their drunken abusive father. Oscar decides to commit an act of violence to save the younger children, and then runs away to the big city.

There he meets a girl of about the same age named Peaches, and falls in with a gang of lost children, who are trained by Birdie (Ron Perlman) and Sway (Mark Boone Junior) to become thieves and pickpockets. Fifteen years later, the grown Oscar (Michael Pitt) and Peaches (Dree Hemingway) are in charge of a new group of kids, while Loux (Sam Quartin) gets a job for a private eye (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) and uses her new resources to try to find her old friend.

Run with the Hunted starts well as Oscar's father, played by William Forsythe, gives him advice about helping others. Then things take a wrong turn as the young Oscar decides to kill the abusive father (the actual act is saved for a "surprise" flashback later in the movie), rather than speak to his parents about the problem. Moreover, the grown-up Loux and her brother don't seem to have any problem with Oscar killing their father, and seem to view him as some kind of savior. Wouldn't life be a little more complex?

It's as if the movie dictated that all characters have only one single choice, designed to move the plot forward, and no other possible choices offered to complicate matters. Just about everything feels slightly disconnected. In transferring the 180 year-old story to the screen, writer/director John Swab doesn't seem to have asked how modern times might impact this kind of criminal scheme.

Despite fine performances by Forsythe, Ron Perlman and Mark Boone Junior as the "Fagin" figures, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. as a private eye, the movie doesn't quite click. Perhaps if Run with the Hunted had captured a genuine sense of being lost, it might have felt more moving.

Movies Unlimtied