film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Runaway 1984 * * * 1/2 Stars


Giving you the feeling that there's the occasional Velveeta plastered on the screen, Runaway is a vehicle that may appear hokey and chi-chi to some but ahead of its time for others (like myself). Hey, just grab a beer, a Hot Pocket, and some ZA because it's movie night, microwaved 80s style. Runaway, well it has never been heralded as a cult classic but you know what, it should be. For reals.

Distributed by TriStar Pictures in its first year of operation (1984) and directed by ER monger Michael Crichton who saw the future although mildly dated, and ran with it, Runaway is about malfunctioning, threatening automatons, guided missile bullets with names attached, and spider-like robots who kill people by injecting them with acid (yikes). Did you get all that cause there's more. You have Kiss rocker Gene Simmons as the evil Dr. Charles Luther, acting recluse Cynthia Rhodes as Officer Karen Thompson, and Tom Selleck playing new-fashioned Sergeant Jack Ramsey. Their perfect casting and mano-a-mano interplay in Runaway gel emphatically. "Clean, simple, and neat." Not entirely mustache man but I like your style.

So yeah, Runaway hangs in a kind of kooky, sci-fi world where AI is almost more pertinent and/or favoring than the everyday plights of the living. And as you watch it, you sort of realize that the filmmakers take the flick more seriously than any perceptive audience member viewing it. Oh well. Runaway is entertaining as all get-out, with a sprightly pace, a foreboding vein, and a musical score by the late Jerry Goldsmith that will surely haunt any sensitive person's dreams. Crichton, well he combines action and the ultramodern to create a rather starry-eyed version of crawler, cops and robbers. His Runaway may not be as avant-garde as say Blade Runner but what is. Effectively "riderless". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

No comments:

Post a Comment