The Running Man (1987) – Encore Review 2


“Huh? I… I know a stalker died! Well, it had to happen sooner or later! [pause] Look, it is a contact sport, right? Yes, but you see, you guys at Justice. You cannot have it both ways. You want ratings. You want people in front of the television instead of picket lines. Well, you’re not gonna get that with re-runs of Gilligan’s Island. [pause] Gilligan’s Island. [hums the theme song] Yeah. Yeah, the one with the boat.” – Damon Killian

Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (Theater in ’87, cable, video, DVD, 25 Nov 2014, 18 Apr 2016 and 4 Jul 2019)

Link to original reviewHere and Here

Brief Synopsis – In a dystopian future, a former policeman framed for a massacre of civilians is forced to play in a deadly reality TV game show where he is to be hunted by professional killers.

My Take on it – This is a film that I have loved ever since I saw it when it came out as a 13 year old and has remained a guilty pleasure of mine ever since.

The premise of the film was much ahead of its time and managed to be somewhat prophetic in the way that the world would embrace reality TV in 2017/8.

This film gets so much right and it unfortunately wouldn’t surprise me if we reach the point where this kind of premise actually happens and we get to watch public executions on live TV.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is superb in this film an dis able to play both the action and dramatic parts of this character really well.

As always, he is armed with a bunch of great one liners that help keep the story fun and intriguing along the way.

The technology shown in this film is obviously not as imaginative as the way technology is in our reality but they still keep thing seeming realistic enough in the way it is portrayed here.

Richard Dawson is an excellent choice to play the villain in this film and is able to get the character’s personality just right in order for us to both love and hate him at the same time.

The film is filled with some great 80’s pop culture references that help make the film work even better within the time line presented in the movie.

This movie is nothing like the original Stephen King Novella that it is based on, but they both work quite well in getting the point across about this kind of dystopian society.

Bottom Line -Amazing film that really was very much ahead of it time. They got so much right about the future of reality TV and it wouldn’t surprise me if one day we reached the point of real executions as live entertainment.  Schwarzenegger is superb in this film and is able to play this character so well that he succeeds in both the dramatic and action scenes really well. This movie is obviously filled with his famous one-liners and they are humorous. The technology of today is much more advanced than the kind they predicted here, but things still feel realistic enough in the way that they portray the story. Dawson is an amazing choice as the villain here and gets the character just right in order for us to both love him and hate him at the same time. The various 80’s pop culture references are great and help make this film work even better within their timeline. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When Rob Cohen purchased the rights to the Richard Bachman novella ‘The Running Man’, he had no idea that Bachman was actually a pseudonym for Stephen King. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (no change from original review)

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One thought on “The Running Man (1987) – Encore Review 2

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1987 | MovieRob

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