The Running Man is a pure 80s movie. Great acting, lots of action and some great liners. The effects are well made and the script is good. The music for this film fits perfectly. This is no doubt one of the best films from Arnie.
The year is 2017. The world economy has collapsed. The United States has sealed off it's borders and has become a military controlled police state which controls TV, movies, art, books, communication and censorship. In the police state America has become, criminals have a choice. They can serve their sentences in prison or they can take part in "The Running Man" a government owned violent game-show where contestants running for freedom are pursued by "Stalkers" wrestler-like bounty hunters. "The Running Man" is the top rating show on network TV and Damon Killian, the creator and host is the most popular entertainer in the US. But one man has yet to play... Former L.A. police officer Ben Richards, framed for the massacre of innocent people, when disobeyed orders is recaptured, after escaping from prison. Ben is forced to appear on "The Running Man", joined by resistance fighters William Laughlin and Harold Weiss and Amber Mendez, (a network employee who Richards took hostage and she turned Richards into the authorities) are chased by The Stalkers, as they search for the secret base of the resistance, as they bid to broadcast the truth about the government and prove Ben's innocence.
Arnie doing what he does best - showing off
This is one of those 80s movies which is all about what was happening then and what is happening now - call it Big Brother, the Police State, the New World Order, whatever you want.
The fact is that this is happening here and now. Following the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, Draconian legislation was passed in the government late at night and even then only by using a fair amount of arm-twisting. That legislation is the Patriot Act which more or less does away with all the 'freedoms' that previously existed in the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Now the police can stop you, question you and even detain you without the need to prove 'reasonable cause'. This really is the beginning of the Thought Police as outlined in George Orwell's '1984' and 'Minority Report' starring Tom Cruise.
Anyhow that's the conspiracy part over with. If you aren't interested in trying to save the planet from the NeoCons (who by the way have thought for some time that the best way to proceed is to release loads of movies and other information forms talking about what they're going to do just before they do it and then nobody takes any notice), at its basest level this is a film about Arnie helping tackle an oppressive regime where people are fed a lot of lies and propaganda via their televisions and public broadcasts.
Prior to joining the Resistance, Arnie had been 'one of them', a military pilot who had refused to annihilate a crowd of un-armed demonstrators from above. He had been removed from his post and imprisoned with common criminals and subjected to hard manual labour.
When he manages to escape from the concentration camp, he is publicly accused of the attrocity he refused to commit (his colleagues killed the people after they had removed him from duty). Naturally he was quickly picked up, but rather than being returned to the camp he was chosen to appear on the nation's favourite game show - the Running Man where contestants go head-to-head against a number of gladiators in a fight to the death on television.
Normally there is no contest - the gladiators are so well equipped, experienced and ruthless that most 'contestants' stand no real chance. Well, Arnie gives them a run for their money...
A must see, if only to remind you of the eighties.
Classic Sci-Fi horror
The Running Man stars Arnie as an ex-cop, framed for the mass slaughter of innocent people.
While in prison, he is put on a TV show, where convicts are sent through several gladiator style environments, and if they win, they get their freedom (supposedly).
High action movie, enjoyable for most people.
What can you say? Future world declines into sci-fi version of the Roman Empire. The rich watch the poor / criminals killed in Gladiator-style TV game shows, with the archetypal smug host. Enter Arnie - ex-cop, framed for a massacre he didn't commit, sentenced to die on the premier show, "The Running Man"
Next, add some 'Mad Max' style sets, some muscled up pro wrestlers, a chain saw or two, a beautiful girl as the love interest, then stand back and let Arnie do what he does best! not too gory or violent by today's standard. OK fun film for a night in when you don't want to think too hard on the plot.
"Jesus Christ!"......."Guess again!"
I think that this is one of Arnie's best films. It's a cool idea - guy gets framed for something he didn't do and gets punished by being put on a sadistic game show where so called criminals are being hunted by nasty guys with various weapons and specialities!!! There's lots to enjoy in this film, including pretty good acting from Austria's most famous oak!!! The humour is good in this also, it's not just action action action. Original and fun with equal helpings of action, humour and violence, this film is one to watch. It's not just a no brainer either, it does make you concentrate on what's happening. So, grab yourself a bevvy, some grub and sit back, relax and enjoy!
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.