Dec 27, 2008


It was set in stone. Runaway was going to be the smash sci-fi hit of the 80s, that is, until James Cameron's The Terminator devastated the market for "cyberpunk" action films. Runaway is a film that is very bizarre in concept. Imagine a script with the some of the virtues of I, Robot but set in the 80s with an incredibly aged look that makes you stick your tongue out in disgust. Tom Selleck leads the late Michael Crichton scripted & directed film, with an exuberant Gene Simmons (of KISS fame) as the villain equipped with DNA seeking missiles.

I could be a genre whore and dub this a cyberpunk film but alas, there is no punk aspect of Runaway. Perhaps Cybergeriatric is a far more fitting tag for Runaway. Tom Selleck is a flawed character. Revel in that for several seconds because that's what the entire film is going to barrage you with. Early on, you learn that Selleck has a fear of heights, so for the next 60 or so minutes, you will see Selleckexpressing his immediate distaste for heights and his hatred for rogue robots. While a semi-similar film Demolition Man created a new Utopian playground and clever electronics, you will stare confoundedly at the same acid spitting spiders and bleeping cardboard boxes for quite some time.

Since the passing of Michael Crichton, the literary world will forever be shadowed by the titanic impact he made, on both mediums of film and literature. His novel Jurassic Park was adapted into one of the largest groundbreaking blockbusters of all time. His film Westworld was wacky, thrilling, and genius. With Crichton gone, I'd like to see his novel Prey faithfully adapted into what we can mindlessly label "nanopunk." Runaway was just one of Crichton's films that has spoiled from exposure.

All is not lost though, there is chemistry between the two partners and the script isn't that bad. It's a precise clone of what made the 80s so eighty's. Runaway is entirely watchable If you can manage to look past its many flaws; there is even charm hidden under the clam shell of my VHS case. With an erratic soundtrack scored by Jerry Goldsmith, Runaway is almost memorable, but falls short of being a definitive classic of entertainment.



Anonymous said...

One of my all-time favorites!! WOO HOO!

Anonymous said...

80s style rocked !!!!!!!
i don't get all the people putting it down at all ;(

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I just noticed, you reveiwed this film on what would have been Heathers 33rd birthday.