Directed by Michelle Schumacher and starring J.K. Simmons, “You Can’t Run Forever” is an average thriller due to the unconvincing backstory of the antagonist, which fails to justify their random acts of violence. The film oscillates between portraying a sociopath’s tale and a survival thriller, ultimately culminating in a linear climax that lacks the promised drama and anticipation. While J.K. Simmons delivers a commendable performance, the narrative does little to support his character development. Overall, if you are a fan of J.K. Simmons, you could watch the movie despite its shortcomings.

Spoilers Ahead

You Can’t Run Forever (2024) Plot Summary and Movie Synopsis:

The film starts with Wade entering a petrol station and hearing a man shouting at his dog because it won’t stop barking. Wade goes near the man and shoots him without uttering a word. Later, he shoots another man and woman, leaving the dog, the station owner, and a lady behind. Later, we are introduced to the family of Jenny and Eddie, who have recently come from their previous relationships and are planning to build their own family.

Jenny is pregnant with Eddie’s baby boy, and Jenny’s daughter, Miranda – from her first husband who had killed himself – is going through a phase in her life where she is unable to talk about her feelings. Once in a while, she has panic attacks, and to get rid of that, she loves to climb up trees. Jenny asks Eddie to take Miranda with him so that they can spend a good amount of time together, and Miranda feels protected when she is with Eddie.

What does Wade do to Eddie and Miranda?

Miranda asks Eddie to stop for a while as she is required to use the bathroom and there Eddie meets with Wade. Wade behaves awkwardly in his first meeting with them as they leave the place soon. Later, Miranda opens up about her feelings to Eddie, and Eddie just starts to console her when Wade comes with his bike and knocks on their car window. Wade thinks that Eddie is making Miranda uncomfortable but Miranda asks Wade to leave them be.

Soon after, Wade knocks again. This time, he shows his gun when Eddie starts the car and tries to run away. Wade follows them and shoots randomly at the car, resulting in one bullet hitting Eddie. Eddie loses control of the car, and since he knows that he can not drive any longer, he asks Miranda to run away, saying that she must meet with his daughter, Emily, and her mother, Jenny, and deliver the news.

Miranda runs away and hears Eddie scream from far away. At that moment, Wade shoots him dead. Later, Wade enters the car, unlocks Eddie’s phone using Eddie’s finger, and masturbates by looking at Jenny’s picture before she is pregnant. Meanwhile, the police have started investigating the murders at the petrol station. When they find out about Eddie, Wade is already in pursuit of killing Miranda as the prey and the predator had entered the forest.

What Happens to Todd?

While running away from Wade, Miranda collides with a boy of her age named Todd who has come to the forest to feast with his parents. Before this, Miranda has already tried calling 911 and her mother. However, due to the network issues, the messages are not sent properly. Miranda has dropped a voicemail to Jenny, but she has not listened to it yet. Anyway, Miranda, in the meantime, seeks help from Todd and his family.

You Can’t Run Forever (2024) Movie
A still from “You Can’t Run Forever” (2024)

However, before they can do anything about it, Miranda sees Wade pointing his gun at them from the forest. Wade kills the whole family while Miranda runs again into the deep forest, hoping to get away from Wade. Later, she again finds herself in the presence of Todd who has found a way to somehow get away from Wade. Todd is shot and wounded, but he somehow manages to survive the night. The following morning, Miranda finds Todd dead, and she leaves him to find help.

Why does Wade Turn Out to be a Killer?

Jenny has received the voicemail by now, and she is very much worried about what she should do when the police come with the news that they have found Eddie’s body. Emily goes to identify the body. Later, she calls some of her friends in order to search for Miranda. They find something that belongs to Miranda and the body of Todd’s parents as they come back to the police with the information. The rangers, who are looking for Miranda, have found another two dead bodies inside the forest, presumably killed by Wade.

When the police give Jenny the sketch of the suspected killer and the name of the owner of the bike, she searches on the internet for that name. She finds Wade and a video through which we visit his past. Wade is a teacher who is having a hard time convincing his students about what they need to learn for the future. He is even insulted by one of his students, so he leaves early for his house. There, he finds the bike and eventually catches his wife with another man.

Wade finds a gun in the man’s jacket, and he kills both his wife and his lover and, later, the neighbor as well. He steals the bike and then starts shooting at random people from the petrol station to Eddie and now inside the forest. Wade has lost any affection toward life because he has failed in both his private and professional life. He has no hope left for himself, as he says before killing his victims- “does it matter?” This phrase dictates that Wade is completely out of his mind, and he finds solace in killing other people.

You Can’t Run Forever (2024) Movie Ending Explained:

How does Jenny Save her Daughters from Wade?

We see that Miranda has climbed a very long tree from where she sees the locality. She lets go of the pills and frees herself from knowing that she needs to take those; otherwise, her panic attacks will come back. Anyway, later, she comes down from the tree and runs towards the locality where, coincidentally, Emily and the police officers are making themselves ready to look for Miranda. Later, when Miranda is being taken care of by the medical experts, Emily receives a phone call.

The call tells that Jenny is about to deliver her baby at the hospital, and she is required to pick up some bags before coming to the hospital. When Emily brings Miranda home, they find out that the call was made by Wade himself as he has taken Jenny as his hostage. However, after a while, Miranda stabs Wade with a knife she had found in Todd’s mother’s bag earlier. Later, Jenny uses Wade’s gun to shoot him dead as he tries to stab Miranda.

At the end of the film, we see Jenny living happily with Miranda and Emily as her water breaks and both the daughters take care of her. The film has a good bit of story, but how Wade becomes such a sharpshooter is unclear, as we have seen him shooting at people who are moving from a good distance. Overall, it tells a story of Jenny’s resilience during the tough time and Miranda’s survival instinct that helps them ultimately get rid of the demon and helps them grow their bond stronger than ever before.

Read More: The Fall Guy (2024) Movie Ending Explained: Does Colt Prove His Innocence?


You Can’t Run Forever (2024) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia, Letterboxd
You Can’t Run Forever (2024) Movie Cast: J. K. Simmons, Allen Leech, Fernanda Urrejola, Isabelle Anaya, Olivia Simmons, Max Garfin, Nathan Vincenti
You Can’t Run Forever (2024) Movie Genre: Mystery & Thriller | Runtime: 1h 43m
Where to watch You Can't Run Forever

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