Running With The Devil is a movie that’s so simplistic in its delivery that it doesn’t even have proper names for its characters, yet it aims to invest the audience in the personal backstories of the implicated. While this film may not reinvent the wheel in terms of the drug-running plot, it tries to make you feel for each character by blending some shades of grey inside the basic archetypes.
Running With The Devil is a 2019 action thriller that’s written and directed by Jason Cabell (Smoke Filled Lungs 2016). This character-based story provides some insight into a cocaine run, from point A to point B, as the drug’s purity and price value raises. This film has quite an established cast, so the acting is always a strength here. It stars Nicolas Cage (Mandy 2018, you can read our review of this film here) as The Cook, Laurence Fishburne (John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum 2019) as The Man, and Leslie Bibb (The Babysitter 2017) as The Agent In Charge. Cage is enigmatic as he takes care of the drug quality. Fishburne plays a heartfelt arc as a deadbeat father who tries to make up for his poor parenting skills with money. Bibb has heart as she witnesses her family die and is left to care for her orphaned niece while trying to catch the criminals.
While the story can drag a bit and become redundant in getting you from place to place, it spends a fair amount of time trying to establish the characters. And even though they’re all involved in a deadly and dirty game where life means very little, we stop to see their personal lives enough to evoke emotion in them, no matter how negative that emotion is. Some of the kills were thrown away too quickly or treated as unsupportive, but that tracks with the reality of most drug stories. Background lives don’t matter here, and they aren’t supposed to.
If you like gritty cartel style films, Running With The Devil checks all the boxes with a star-studded cast. It may not quite pack the punch of its predecessors in this genre, but its linear storytelling and powerful acting will still make an impact in 2019. It is now available on Digital!