An ex-con trying to go straight has 24 hours to pay back a loan shark in “Dead Man Running,” a fast-talking, wise-cracking Brit beat-the-clocker that recycles Cockney crimer cliches to moderately entertaining results. Souped-up visuals by musicvid helmer Alex De Rakoff (“The Calcium Kid”) can’t disguise the fact that this is a modest local production, with few offshore legs, especially Stateside, where much of the pic’s heavily accented dialogue is unlikely even to be understood.
Nick Kane (Tamer Hassan, good) is trying to set up a travel biz with pal Bing (Danny Dyer, in usual Cockney street-smart mode) when recession-hit Gotham loan shark Mr. Thigo (U.S. rapper 50 Cent) shows up in London wanting his 100 grand ($160,000) back by tomorrow — or Kane’s mom (Brenda Blethyn, quietly amusing) is fertilizer. As the pair try everything from dogtrack betting to drug peddling and bare-knuckle boxing, Thigo does his best to actually stop them from succeeding: Most of all, he wants to set an example to his other debtors. Dumb gutter dialogue quickly palls, but Hassan and Dyer’s chemistry keeps the pic afloat better than the manufactured twists and hyped-up soundtrack.