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>
The film was shot with a documentary look as wanted by director Andrey Konchalovskiy. Director of Photography Alan Hume and his camera crew put their cameras in odd and different positions so as to make the movie look uncomposed and spontaneous. This was so as to make the viewer feel like they were looking straight out of the train window or were hanging off the edge of the locomotive. See more »
In the sequence where the train runs through a series of tunnels there is a montage of shots of Manny yelling at Ranken out the front window of the second locomotive. In these shots the rear of the lead engine doesn't feature. It should be dominating the view forwards, but is nowhere to be seen. 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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