Two fearless Chicago cops (Crystal and Hines) are almost killed by a psycho drug dealer and are forced to take a vacation. They open a bar to wile away the time, but can't forget the old life and return to Chicago, where the dealer that almost killed them is out on bail. Will they get back in the saddle or bury their heads in the sand?
Despite an accident-strewn, up-and-down plot, you cannot help but feel this movie is following a route much travelled. Chicago cops Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal seem incapable of just about everything except getting their man in substandard Clouseau fashion. Their enforced vacation feels like enforced padding out of the plot, which, despite the giggles had from their lily-livered turns, is essentially another quirky but limp attempt at a cop buddie movie. Complete with regulation banter, a contrast of personalities, wacky goings on and, yes, a cop-affirming ending, Running Scared is a formulaic, gentle comedy, best when Crystal is doing his nut, which is often, but not often enough.
Decent premises and the promise of Billy Crystal pale in a film that fronts up to, then whimpers away from, the prospect of leaping out of its genre's boundaries.