Any film that stars Paul Walker is dangerous proposition. In my experience, he is not a terribly talented actor, hired more for his looks than his ability. That said, he does a fine job of inhabiting our reactionary hero in Running Scared. The film is so deliriously over the top that the plot becomes secondary to the free-flowing insanity on tap.
The story follows a missing gun and the extreme measures used in an attempt to regain its possession, not to mention the occasional side trip, that is peripherally related to the primary objective. Paul Walker is Joey Gazelle, a family man who happens to run with a dangerous crowd. The gun in question comes into Joey's hands after it is used to kill a cop during a drug deal gone bad. It is up to Joey to get rid of it, so what does he do? He doesn't throw it in the river, bags it and places it behind a hidden panel in the basement, with an assortment of other neatly placed sidearms. Unfortunately, Joey's son, Nicky, and his best friend Oleg are witness to this placement.
That proves to be the impetus for the following ensuing drama. You see, Oleg is abused by his stepfather, a Russian immigrant with an obsession with John Wayne's The Cowboys, so he steals the gun and shoots the root of his problems. Oleg then hits the streets, which in turn sets of a series of events which take this gun through a number of different hands. Joey follows all the clues, while deflecting inquiries from his boss and from the cops looking to take Joey and his boss down.
The plot is simplistic on the surface; it is the manner in which everything plays out that make this film so much fun. When you walk into this, you must check reality at the door. Do not go in to expecting realism on any level. Running Scared blasts through the reality barrier to take you on a ride through a night in the life of an increasingly desperate man.