Run is a flimsy cinematic stunt show with an errant use of throbbing dubstep to cover up pitifully limited dialog. Simone Bartesaghi’s feature struts into a narrative bull headed, as if Run is superior enough to dodge the necessities of story.
It is 50-minutes until Run begins poking guns at the screen, trying to mold and form some semblance of mafia-gone-wrong, fractured character study. Instead, college age kids grumpily run through high school halls, flipping around in montages, occasionally forming up as a misfit band resembling Power Rangers.
They’re led by Daniel Lombardi (William Moseley), a sullen, hoodie-drawn new kid from the rough streets of Detroit. Led by his father into New York, Daniel slinks into isolation except for a pesky contrivance – this school is full of similar parkour kids too. Who knew?
Via misshapen and randomized events, Daniel saves people from explosive fires, runs from cops, dodges thugs, and finds romance, almost none of this interconnected to the tattered shards of the central plot. Dispelled ideas of freedom and physical street art harness little of parkour’s intended messaging; Daniel is relegated to a thieves profession. Run is not raising awareness of urban athleticism, instead indirectly preaching unsatisfying messages of rebellion in association with someone whom believes they are Robin Hood.
Daniel’s isolationist methods are drawn from his father, Mike (Adrian Pasdar). Caught in an often narrated, inter-family squabble which is now driven to mafia shoot outs, Mike keeps moving cross country until deciding to face his aggressor – because the plot said so.
Expectations of broad scale choreography are dispelled, the kids using stealth to tackle a gang made up of two thugs (few in the criminal underworld are readily led by the hand of a villainous Eric Roberts). Run lacks inherent discipline, eager to spin for show or slow motion lenses, yet unwilling to put forth the set up to prove captivating in action. The film breaks from its central showpiece, believing parkour has merit outside of these scraggly characters before discarding said mantra to placate a sniveling Eric Roberts. Run is never exciting, forgetful, and dismally composed.
Shot digitally without an eye for corrective measures, Run limply appears on screen without adequate oomph. Drizzled in noise and flattened by uninterested saturation, the feature hardly registers as enticing. Outside of capable black levels – which still waver into gray – Run has few qualities of mention.
Up close, fidelity will leech onto clothes or faces, even if cast amongst intentionally driven haze. Run seems to inconsistently apply the qualities of it live action, dreamy fairy tale with consideration to its lighting. Blooming is intrusive, even obnoxious, if part of the intended stylization.
Millennium trots out an AVC encode which stays feisty. Complications could only be birthed from the rapid movement of the teens in action considering parameters, and imagery holds stable. Noise is left uncomplicated by the Blu-ray itself.
Of final note are handheld (or head strapped) cameras, of considerably lower grade and splashed with artifacts. Lower resolution footage sticks to its grittier, roughhousing appearance and is usually embedded with fish eye lenses. End results jar the visual spectrum.
In 3D, Run would appear to snatch the best of concepts, blending the rush of free running and stereoscopic cinematography… but no. Much of the feature is stuck in the night where eyes are fed vicious cross talk on less capable displays, and even top tier sets will be battered. Even while forcing perspective to extend background placement, Run often needs foreground objects to achieve success.
Actors appear on screen with appreciable depth to their faces, and when covered in hoodies, there is a sense of being inset. Smoke or dust particles layer images, returning to Run’s need of foreground activity. Killers are the head mounted cameras which contort and stretch images, forcing the issue and straining eyesight. Focusing is impossible and the depth is soured by noise. This is not pleasant.
Dialog sounds recorded live. An explosion is so muddy it sounds forty years old. Guns sound false. Ambiance is artificially layered to sell the locale. So no, this is never a beacon of audio highlights.
The TrueHD mix presents audio on a budget, with fluctuating clarity in line delivery and thin surround or stereo elements. Power only comes from the crunchy electronic dubstep and its (sometimes) bass pushing center. Even then, it exists without a sense of balance.
If the main feature’s audio was blemished, the five minute, interview-filled making of is atrocious. Good luck finding a suitable volume to go between the blaring music and indecipherable chats. It’s hard to make out a word and this stands as the only extra.
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