Review: RUNNING WITH THE DEVIL Is A Bizarre And Chaotic Drug Smuggling Thriller


Thanks to some ambitious execution and fun performances, Running with the Devil isn't damned by its uneven and chaotic script.
Technical Merit

Running with the Devil, written and directed by Jason Cabell, is the newest insane B-movie thriller starring Nicolas Cage. However, unlike other similar films, Cage somehow seems like the most sane person in this entire venture, everyone and everything else around him being what is off the rails.

The movie is about two high-level members of a drug operation who are sent to investigate why the supply is being cut somewhere on the supply chain. Unfortunately, with the way the film is structured, there is absolutely no mystery involved in the story. Pretty much from the beginning of the movie, the audience is let in on some information that the characters don’t know, ruining any suspense and leaving the audience watching the characters bumbling around.

Watching ignorant characters bumble around can be fun… but there are simply too many characters involved in this film. So many characters are introduced as potential suspects of the person cutting the supply, but since the audience knows the true culprit, all of these red herrings ultimately feel like wasted time. The movie tries to pass it off as some form of intelligent chaos, but it simply does not work.

Yet despite the amount of characters there are in the film, it still manages to feel frustratingly stagnant. There are some interesting scenes throughout, but those good moments never come into a narrative that feels cohesive or satisfying. A part of the issue is that the end of the movie is telegraphed and obvious, but another issue is that the film is simply too crazy for its own good.

running with the devil cage
(L-R) Cole Hauser as The Executioner, Nicolas Cage as The Cook and Tait Fletcher as The Collector in the crime thriller RUNNING WITH THE DEVIL, a Quiver Distribution release. Photo courtesy of Quiver Distribution.

And for a Nicolas Cage movie, there is precious little action to be found. More of the film’s enjoyability comes from the sheer absurdity of what is happening on screen. Some of the things that Laurence Fishburne does in this movie are pretty crazy and not something one would expect to see from a respected and Oscar-nominated actor.

Regardless, Fishburne goes all in on his role and is a ton of fun to watch. Granted, it is far from his most nuanced or complex work, but it is surprisingly satisfying to watch him act high and do stupid things. Cage’s performance is more subtle than most of his recent work, but that is mostly because Fishburne steals the spotlight with his insanity so many times.

On a technical level, the film has mixed success. There are quite a few ambitious sequences in the movie. One of the most notable is the one introducing the audience to Fishburne’s character and his stilted perception of reality with some interesting cinematography and editing. That said, other sequences feel painfully dull and by-the-book.

One can’t fault Running with the Devil for being boring, but despite the amount of energy the film has, it suffers from a lack of narrative momentum. There are simply too many moving parts for this movie to be successful. Still, thanks to Fishburne’s wacky and over-the-top performance, it is entirely watchable.

Running with the Devil hits theaters and VOD on September 20.


The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel | “Tits Up” Compilation | Prime Video

Susie and Midge forever. New episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel are now streaming. » Watch the new season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel now exclusively with your Prime membership: » SUBSCRIBE: About The Marvelous Mrs.Maisel: In 1958 New York, Midge Maisel's life is on track- husband, kids, and elegant Yom Kippur dinners…

Nancy Drew | Season 1 Episode 9 | The Hidden Staircase Promo | The CW

Watch new episodes on Wednesdays and stream Nancy Drew from the beginning, free only on The CW app: SUBSCRIBE: About NANCY DREW: Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) is a brilliant teenaged detective whose sense of self had come from solving mysteries in her hometown of Horseshoe Bay, Maine – until her mother's untimely death…

The Two Popes: Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict | Netflix

WINNER | AUDIENCE AWARD Hamptons International Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, Middleburg Film Festival Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce star in this intimate look at a historic turning point in the Catholic Church. Directed by Academy Award nominee Fernando Meirelles and Written by Academy Award Nominee Anthony McCarten The Two Popes is In Theaters…

Supernatural | Season 15 Episode 8 | Our Father, Who Aren’t In Heaven Promo | The CW

Stream new episodes of Supernatural Fridays, free only on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About SUPERNATURAL: The thrilling and terrifying journey of the Winchester brothers continues as SUPERNATURAL enters its thirteenth season. Sam and Dean have spent their lives on the road, battling supernatural threats that include everything from the demon that killed their…

The Irishman | Designing the Everyday | Netflix

Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci star in Martin Scorsese’s THE IRISHMAN, a saga of organized crime in post-war America told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century. Spanning decades, the film chronicles…

Behind The Scenes of Original Song “Letter To My Godfather” | THE BLACK GODFATHER | Netflix

Pharrell Williams and Nicole Avant (producer, The Black Godfather) discuss the making of original song "Letter To My Godfather," which Williams performs and co-wrote with Chad Hugo. "Letter To My Godfather" can be seen in the Netflix Original Documentary The Black Godfather. Watch The Black Godfather, Only on Netflix: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix…

9 Times Rick Broke Down Crying | The Walking Dead Compilation

Rick is not an emotional man, but there were times that he broke down crying in The Walking Dead. Watch the highlights here! Watch more from The Walking Dead: Subscribe to The Walking Dead on YouTube: #WalkingDead #TheWalkingDead #RickGrimes THE WALKING DEAD: Like The Walking Dead on Facebook: Follow The Walking Dead…

Ep. 6 Preview | Dublin Murders Season 1 | STARZ

When Cassie embeds herself in Whitethorn House, threats both known and unexpected haunt her every living breath. #DublinMurders #STARZ Watch Dublin Murders now on the STARZ app: Subscribe to the STARZ YouTube Channel for more Dublin Murders: Like Dublin Murders on Facebook: Like Dublin Murders on Twitter: Like Dublin Murders on…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here