You Can't Run Forever Poster

You Can’t Run Forever (2024) Review

As You Can’t Run Forever opens, a motorcyclist pulls into a gas station where a large man is yelling at a small dog. Instead of filling his tank, the cyclist walks over, draws a gun and shoots the man. Then he starts shooting anyone else he sees. This is Wade (J.K. Simmons, Spider-Man, The Tomorrow War), he’s left several bodies behind him already, and he’s looking to add to his tally.

Miranda (Isabelle Anaya, Donny’s Bar Mitzvah) is a troubled young woman. She’s still resentful over her parent’s divorce and the subsequent suicide of her father. The fact that her mother Jenny (Fernanda Urrejola, The Black Demon, The Fist of the Condor) and her stepfather Eddie (Allen Leech, The Hunter’s Prayer, The Imitation Game) are about to have a child of their own. Eddie’s daughter Emily (Olivia Simmons, Honor Student, I’m Not Here) is one already one sibling too many.

But things can always get worse. Miranda and Eddie have a random encounter with Wade at a rest area, and if you’ve seen Glorious, you know that’s not where you want to encounter J.K. Simmons.

You Can't Run Forever Allen Leech and J.K. Simmons

You Can’t Run Forever is something of a Simmons family film. Michelle Schumacher (3 Geezers! The Boy), who directed and co-wrote with Carolyn Carpenter (The Floor), is married to the film’s star. Their daughter Oliva plays Emily, their son Joe (Cadence of Doom, I’m Not Here), wrote the score and Randle Schumacher (I’m Not Here, 3 Geezers) was the film’s producer.

You can see why the spectre of a vanity/nepotism project hung over the project, but it certainly got off on the right foot with the opening killings and a car chase that leaves Miranda fleeing through the woods. It’s not a particularly original idea, as she flees for her life while Wade kills anyone who tries to help her. Or just has the bad luck to cross his path for that matter.

The cops, as expected, aren’t much help. Deputies Dwyer (Graham Patrick Martin, A Southern Haunting, Catch-22) and Morgan (Andres Velez, Coyote Lake, Night Teeth) are inexperienced, Dwyer actually looks like he’s about 15, and leaderless since the department is looking for a new sheriff. They’re not played like the typical bumbling backwoods cops we frequently see in these films. They’re trying, but in over their heads.

You Can't Run Forever Isabelle Anay

Despite its familiarity, You Can’t Run Forever works fairly well as a thriller. Simmons gives a creepy performance as the sociopathic Wade, who has a penchant for hanging out and chatting with his victims, after he’s killed them, of course. While Anaya doesn’t have much to say for most of the film, but she gives a spirited, mostly physical, performance as his prey.

The film does make several bad choices, a spinning camera scene meant to simulate a panic attack goes on way too long, and a scene of Miranda hallucinating adds little beyond more self-indulgent camera work and a couple of half-hearted jump scares. There’s also the usual issue of characters making extremely bad decisions to move the plot along.

Similarly, an exciting final fight leads into end credits accompanied by a cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” that manages the near impossible feat of being even more cloying and saccharine than the original. You Can’t Run Forever ends up going out not with a bang, but with a whimper.

You Can't Run Forever J.K. Simmons

Putting it all in the balance, You Can’t Run Forever definitely isn’t the vanity piece I was worried it might be. Despite its missteps, it still manages to be a decent thriller and better than a lot of similar films. It’s just too bad it couldn’t keep up the intensity of its opening scenes.

Lionsgate will release You Can’t Run Forever in theatres as well as to Digital and VOD Platforms on May 17th. It arrives on UK Digital Platforms on the 27th.

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1 thought on “You Can’t Run Forever (2024) Review”

  1. It’s so unrealistic. An active shooter killing many people would get a huge police response not 2 policeman who seem to be the only ones on shift. There would be 100 plus , detectives , hrt tactical teams, dog units and helicopters. State police would have roadblocks set up and all would be armed with m4s not a sidearm. They would use cell site data to hunt him down in the woods and helecopters and dogs. And it would end in the hills with the hrt marksmen shooting him.

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