Monday, July 26, 2010

The Running Man (1987)

"I'll live to see you eat that contract, but I hope you leave enough room for my fist because I'm going to ram it into your stomach and break your god-damn spine!"

So this wasn't on my initial list of movies to review this week, but the idea of leaving Sci-Fi out of 80s Action Week just didn't seem right in a decade where the two were associated so closely. For anybody who isn't in the know, "The Running Man" is based on a novel by Richard Bachman (AKA Stephen King) and it tells the story of a future obsessed with TV and Violence; an idea not so preposterous when you look at our own pop culture today. Our main character is Ben Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who has been convicted after failing to follow an order that would require him to have killed innocent people. Ben is a difficult prisoner and tries to escape. After this failed attempt Ben and others are taken to participate on "The Running Man", a TV game show where prisoners fight for freedom...and their lives. Think "American Gladiators", but Nitro is firing real weapons at you instead of really heavy Nerf balls. The gladiators on this show are called things like 'Sub Zero' and 'Buzz Saw' and their outfits are as hokey as their names. Despite the large cheese factor from time to time, this movie really entertains. Often I think it gets lost in the dozens of Action and Sci-Fi films Ah-nuld did in the 80s and early 90s, but it's premise is original and ahead of its time. You'll see a few familiar faces including Jesse Ventura, Yaphet Kotto, Mick Fleetwood, Dweezil Zappa and former Family Fued Host, Richard Dawson.

Full of great Ah-nuld one liners and a great 80s Action movie that doesn't involve buddy cops or aliens, you really need to see this one. 4/5 -andy

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