The Runner Movie Review
The Runner Movie Review Metadata
Nicolas Cage plays Congressman Colin Price in director/writer Austin Stark’s feature film, The Runner. Cage, coming off box-office bomb Left Behind and other less-than-stellar performances shows audiences that there is still gas in the tank.
Price is a Louisiana politician fighting for the fishing and touring industries brought to their knees by the catastrophic failure of BP’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig in 2010. He’s a Southern Louisiana native that cares for his constituents. In an inspired plea for help from Congress, Price garners the attention of the public and raises his political stock when he delivers an inspired plea to Congress for the government to take action. That newfound fame, while creating new opportunities, also has implications. Price’s infidelity comes to light just when he begins making headway on the BP situation. His political career and his marriage come crashing. A once honorable man, Price must run a road to redemption paved with social scrutiny, political posturing and personal loss.
Austin Stark treats viewers with a movie that is perfectly believable, though, The Runner is also rather ho-hum. The story lacks confidence, and any real consequence that elevates political dramas into intriguing think-pieces. Kudos for the restraint, something I believe Netflix’s House of Cards is incapable of embracing, but this genre film is sometimes too dialed back and fake.
Something Stark does do right in The Runner is hinge backstory on a real environmental tragedy that every American is (or will) be familiar with someday. He dispenses with drawn-out explanations of motive and still effectively showcases his character’s emotions, though some of that credit is due to Cage’s remarkable portrayal of the flawed Congressman.
The act of “running for redemption” – or to find solace – just wasn’t working for me. Cinematically and metaphorically it felt forced in there, as if to satisfy credits for a Filmmaking 101 course. I recommend checking this one out for rental.