The Running Man (1987)

R   |    |  Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller


The Running Man (1987) Poster

In a dystopian America, a falsely convicted policeman gets his shot at freedom when he must forcibly participate in a TV game show where convicts, runners, must battle killers for their freedom.


6.7/10
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18 April 2000 | King_Opossum
A rollercoaster of a movie - great fun
Released just as Arnold Schwarzenegger was achieving megastar status, this film about stardom is a wry pun on his career and the media business around him. Films like these are not meant to be analysed, they are meant to be enjoyed, and THE RUNNING MAN certainly manages to do that.

After a shaky start involving the worst title sequence in the history of cinema (although it's good to see the Sinclair Spectrum finally get global use!), director Paul Michael Glaser presents an eye-popping glimpse at the television of tomorrow. This witty slice of sociological irony would have admittedly been slicker in the hands of regular Paul Verhoeven, but Glaser keeps the action flowing throughout, and presents us with some bizarrely fascinating villains as well as the usual action frolics. One query, though, is over the level of violence. Oddly enough there doesn't really seem to be enough. In a program where the broad concept is horrifically barbaric, Glaser seems reluctant to horrify us beyond the disappointing "see the blood spattering from the violence that's just off camera" and those awful rubber corpses! I do not wish to appear to be encouraging unnecessary violence, but in a comic-book film where 'gore is its core', not including it almost makes you feel that it is trying to take itself too seriously, and therefore makes it even more horrific. Perhaps this delicate subject is better explained by Paul Verhoeven in his excellent commentary to ROBOCOP (DVD Criterion Collection).

But the performances in THE RUNNING MAN are suitably solid, from the powerful Schwarzenegger to the sleazy game show host. Any fan of the 80s action genre will love this, so sit back and prepare for SHOWTIME!!!!!!

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