“Running with the Devil” A Slow Burn of A Film

0
696

Running with the Devil, is a thrilling crime drama starring Nicolas Cage, Laurence Fishburne, Leslie Bibb, Clifton Collins Jr., Barry Pepper, Cole Hauser, Adam Goldberg, and Peter Facinelli. The film is written and directed by Jason Cabell, in his feature debut.

A former Navy SEAL, Cabell once served as a military advisor on the Colombian drug trade. The film is notable for not giving any of its characters’ names. In response to this, Cabell has stated he wanted to tell a story “from the point of view of the drugs.”

RGB tiff image by MetisIP

The film begins with a federal agent (Leslie Bibb) discovering that her sister and brother-in-law have died due to an apparent drug overdose. Her now-orphaned niece is left in her care and her current war on drugs has become very personal. We are introduced to “The Man” (Laurence Fishburne), a high-rolling, heroine-addicted cocaine dealer that gets his rocks off to nightly sessions with prostitutes (one of which succumbs to overdose). As “The Man” has been known to cut his supply and sell on the side, quality-control expert “The Cook” (Nicolas Cage) is called in by “The Boss” (Barry Pepper) to “set the record straight.”

 

Cabell stays true to his statement of the narrative being told from the drug’s point of view. As none of the character’s are given proper names, or much reason to care about any of them the film feels very emotionally distant. Nearly all of the characters are guilty of a trespass in some way, shape, or fashion, so when an act of violence occurs it doesn’t feel like a tragedy.

image by MetisIP

While the film does take awhile to really get going, one can’t help but be transfixed by the spectacular against-type performances of the cast. It’s interesting to see Fishburne step into such a sleazy role whereas Cage is more reserved and quiet, yet brutal character. At the end of the day, Running with the Devil provides well-acted and superbly-directed entertainment.

Running with the Devil is now playing in select theaters and available on VOD.