Miniseries Review: 'Run!' (2016)

A four-part miniseries that never grinds its gears, "Run!" is as thrilling a viewing experience as its title suggests. Featuring "Silver Spoon" co-stars Pavel Priluchnyy and Denis Shvedov, this action-packed limited series is the perfect showcase for the actors' innate buddy chemistry.

A conspiracy thriller that never runs dry on plot points, "Run!" (originally titled “Begi!”) revolves around tech guru Dmitri aka Dima (Priluchnyy), the mind behind a new “operational system” known as Abie. Shorty after his brother/colleague refuses to sell it for the paltry number they are offered, Dima’s brother is murdered.

Dima is found at the scene with a gun in his hand and a foggy memory of what transpired, which means he is in big trouble. Convicted and sent to prison, he is met with a brutal welcome by his fellow inmates and threats from those wanting the flash drive that contains the plans for his innovation.

While he is able to stave off his enemies for a time, Dima decides he must take action when his wife is threatened. So he arranges to break out of prison and what happens next is better left a mystery.

The Adventure Begins

"Run!" is a non-stop action adventure mini that never loses its audience amidst the constant stream of shocking plot twists and terrific fight sequences. The pacing, while swift, also gives the audience room to breathe as its characters consider the ever-evolving "whodunit?" at play.

From Dima and his mysterious companion to the erudite detective determined to track him down, every character in this story has an enigmatic bearing. It is this foggy context that instills the series with its edge-of-your-seat quality.

While “trust no one” is an active motif throughout the series, there is an optimism that emerges despite that cynicism. Everyone is not what they seem, and that applies in both a positive and negative regard. For a considerable cast of characters, they are all eloquently carved out, and given tremendous depth, within a relatively short span of time.

The Performances

The cast digs in with penetrating performances that quickly give you the essence of their characters, and a sense of their stories before the events of the series began. It is this rarely articulated flourish that makes the fallout and ensuing suspicion that surrounds certain players, much easier to understand.

Pavel Priluchnyy and Denis Shvedov pick up on their rapport from "Silver Spoon." Demonstrating their impressive range, neither actor plays the same persona they do in “Silver Spoon,” so it generates a new energy to their on-screen bond, which is a fun juxtaposition to see them portray.

Individually, Priluchnyy delivers another charismatic turn that has you rooting for Dima from beginning to end, while Denis Shvedov gives a gripping and heartfelt performance as Dima’s mysterious pursuer. 

Playing the determined cop can get tedious at times, but you wouldn’t know it based on Yekaterina Rednikova’s refreshing performance as the chief detective trying to bring Dima in. Rednikova's is a rare turn that marries grit and intellect with tender nuances that keep her from coming across callous.

As is so often the case, the character in relentless pursuit of the hero can often feel like a villain, and Rednikova does an excellent job of keeping that from happening.

“Run!” is an entertaining, efficient, and exhilarating watch that hits all the crucial notes a series like this needs to before running out of time.

Rating: 9/10

"Run!" is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

[Featured Image by Green Film Studio/NTV]