Release Date: 26 June 2020
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Director: John Swab
Writer: John Swab
Stars: Ron Perlman, Michael Pitt, Mark Boone Junior
Oscar, a young boy, defends his best friend, Loux, and kills her abusive father in the process, forcing him to run away from his rural hometown. His innocence slips away as he is introduced to love, crime, and corruption. 15 years later, he has all but forgotten his past and become the leader of a band of lost children. When Loux moves to the same city in search of a better life, she finds a job with a curmudgeonly private investigator. Stumbling upon Oscar's antiquated missing child report, Loux takes it upon herself to find the boy who saved her life.
Directed by John Swab, in his second feature, Run with the hunted is part of that patrol of independent American films that the Rome Film Festival populates every year. With some very rare exceptions, these works are far from noteworthy, often confused when not pretentious or even difficult to read, far from the numerous examples of independent American cinema that have lately surprised for their artistic value.
Swab's film is the story of a young boy from America's rural town, who spends his days with his neighbors, entrusted to a drunk, idle and violent father; despite this creeping state of squalid abandonment, the kids still seem to have fun, giving one another with strength.
When Oscar, the young boy, learns of the harassment suffered by Loux, his girlfriend, he does not hesitate in killing her father, and then flees to the city to hide. Here he comes into contact with a gang of teenagers who keeps him hidden from those who seek him; the boy who immediately proves to be quick and intelligent, almost cut from birth for that life of gimmicks, therefore, finds a new family that welcomes him, despite the dynamics that govern it are far from reassuring.
Fifteen years after Oscar has made a career in the band, he trains children, the use of weapons and robbery techniques, but he is always submissive in the hierarchical scale to the same characters who are enriched with the deeds of the band; his life always remains on the margins, in the marginalization of a provincial city where his leaders behave like domineering and unscrupulous satraps.
Apart from the usual themes on youth left to itself and nihilist due to the family breakdown and the lack of any form of morality within society, Run with the hunted travels on a track that is far too quick to be of any interest, poor profile of the characters, the only point of reference is to make the narrative circle square and above all the absence of a personal perspective make John Swab's film an unsuccessful attempt to tell a story using original canons. Also, the aspect of Oscar's attempt at redemption made flourish by meeting the girl after so many years who once defended with an impulse of love and violence and who threw him into the world of youth gangs and nihilism, seems to be of little interest to the director that is too busy making ends meet in a story that certainly had far greater potential than John Swab managed to prove, despite Michael Pitt's excellent performance in acting.
Reviewed by: Greg Becker
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