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The Running Man

The Running Man

The Last Dragon

What He said:

It’s the year 2017 (it’s funny how at tone time that was considered far into the future) and the U.S. has gone to hell. The country is current in a police state.

Ben Richards (Arnold) is a police officer and a pilot about to make a routine food drop. Most of the country is in such bad shape that the government just drops food into the ghettos in which most people lives and let them fend for themselves. In situations like this, people tend to get out of control, and when ordered to fire on the crowd to suppress the rioting, Richards refuses. As a result, he’s framed for the murder of the very people he refused to kill.

The Running Man

Fast-forward a few years and Richards is in prison. Well at least for the next few minutes, because he soon breaks out with some fellow inmates: Laughlin and Weiss.  Laughlin (Yaphet Kotto) and Weiss (Marvin J. McIntyre) are members of a resistance movement that fights the government. The three of them escape to one of the resistance’s hideouts, but Richards decides to move on. He’s not interested in fighting the government, he just wants his free. He plans on contacting his brother and fleeing the country.

That doesn’t work out. When he goes to his brother’s place, he discovers that he doesn’t live there anymore. Instead, his apartment is occupied by a woman named Amber (Maria Conchita Alonso). Richards plans on using her to pose as his wife – because they’re looking for a man and not a married couple – to get out of the country. She gets away from him at the airport, rats him out, and Richards ends up back in prison.

The Running Man

Unfortunately for him, Damon Killian, host of The Running Man, is looking for new contestants. The Running Man is a sadistic game show which pits participants (usually convicts) against gladiator types, who are usually equipped with all kinds of weapons and technology. It is the most popular show in the country, because Killian (Richard Dawson) and his cronies portray the “contestants” are horrible people; even if it isn’t true, as is the case with Richards. Oh and to make things interesting, Killian throws Laughlin and Weiss into the gauntlet with Richards and the three must run for their lives and fight for survival against colorful characters like this or this.

Speaking of those colorful characters, boy did they mess them up. When you are going to go that route and create characters something along the lines of comic book caricatures – not characters, but caricatures, because they’re spoofs of what even a comic book would do – you have to do it right. These characters weren’t fun, they were stupid. I mean, they were dumber than dumb.

That kind of describes this movie from top-to-bottom. It’s just dumb. The premise isn’t original, but the whole evil government forcing people to fight for their lives can be fun if done right and boy this wasn’t. It was just plain stupid. And boring to boot, man this movie was boring. Bad action, corny – and not the good corny – one-liners, and a tacked on subplot were some of the problems with this movie. The whole resistance angle was just slapped onto the script. There was no substance to it at all.

I saw this movie once a long time ago. I remember finding it kind of blah. But that was over a decade ago, so when I got some time to myself recently, I thought I’d give it a shot. I was watching a bunch of manly movies and figure why not? Boy, does this movie suck.




Rating: Thumbs down.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on June 30, 2014.

The Running Man