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A hardened convict and a younger prisoner escape from a brutal prison in the middle of winter only to find themselves on an out-of-control train with a female railway worker while being pursued by the vengeful head of security. Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
Eric Roberts worked out for several months prior to filming to put on 30 pounds of muscle. Roberts has said that the characterization of Buck came easily to him as he had grown-up in a Mississippi neighborhood which was full of ex-cons. See more »
A number of shots of running wheels below the train (including the part where Manny is being dragged underneath the train) are filmed with unpowered wagons and not powered locomotive axles. See more »
[Buck bangs on a locked locker, making noise]
Hey man, nobody's going to hear us.
Just don't do it.
[Buck points his finger at Manny]
Hey Manny, You don't treat me like your punk, OK.
See more »
"Runaway Train" is hardly a perfect film as others have mentioned, there are plenty of things here that feel tacked on, implausible, or even ridiculous (the Captain Ahab of a villain risking his own life to destroy his enemy, the silly riot scenes in the prison, the over-the-top speechifying and florid epigraph at the end credits, etc., etc.). But surprisingly, we find ourselves left with an impression of overall integrity and intelligent artistry quite the feat, considering the number of melodramatic or otherwise un-subtle elements in the mix. In particular, Jon Voight's hamminess gets to be a bit much, but Eric Roberts's twitchiness for once creates a character who seems vulnerable and likable (if still occasionally obnoxious). And Rebecca De Mornay is quite surprising, and shows herself to be a real actress despite the vamp roles in which she most often finds herself typecast. The pacing and the rhythm of the dialogue is somewhat odd, but rather than irritating or alienating us, it seems to ground the film in its own unique textural world. At its best, "Runaway Train" reminded me of "Night of the Living Dead" or another great people-trapped-in-a-little-room suspense film, and it's worth the effort for most viewers. 7.5 out of 10.
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