Dead Man Running (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner28/10/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 96 mins

Watchable British thriller that scrapes a pass thanks to some lively dialogue and likeable performances from Hassan and Dyer, though you'll spot the twists coming a mile away.

What's it all about?
Directed by Alex de Rakoff, Dead Man Running stars Tamer Hassan as Nick, an ex-con turned businessman who's given just 24 hours to come up with the £100,000 he owes American gangster Mr Thigo (Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson) or his dear old wheelchair-bound muvver (Brenda Blethyn) gets it. With the clock ticking and a hitman (Phil Davis) keeping watch over his mum, Nick ropes in his best friend Bing (Danny Dyer – who else?) and the pair embark on a series of frantic get-rich-quick schemes, starting with Nick betting on himself in a bare-knuckle boxing match.

The Good
Hassan and Dyer make a likeable duo and have a lively chemistry, which is perhaps unsurprising, given that this is their third film together. As a result, their constant back-and-forth banter is the most enjoyable thing in the film; it helps that they're essentially playing good guys rather than the foul-mouthed gangster types both have played in the past.

There's also strong support from both Brenda Blethyn and Phil Davis as well as amusing cameos from Clive Russell (as a Glaswegian drug dealer) and Monet Mazur as Nick's girlfriend Frankie. However, 50 Cent barely puts the effort in and there's a pointless cameo from Omid Djalili that doesn't really work.

The Bad
The main problem with the film is that it can't quite decide how much of a comic caper it wants to be and how much violence it should include as a result. To that end, there's a pretty decent (if, frankly, unconvincing) fight at the beginning, but anyone expecting any more than that is likely to be disappointed – you basically spend most of the film hoping it'll end with Hassan throwing a punch at 50 Cent, but that doesn't happen.

On top of that, the script throws in several annoyingly predictable twists, most of which are massively telegraphed in advance, whilst the climactic plot device is actually a bit of a cheat.

Worth seeing?
To be fair, as Danny Dyer movies go, Dead Man Running is better than average, thanks to his likeable chemistry with Hassan and a lively, if predictable plot.

Film Trailer

Dead Man Running (15)
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Content updated: 20/10/2017 00:30

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