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The Running Man
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Running Man More at IMDbPro »

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Pretty good Arnold action flick

Author: shakey_jake53 from Toronto, Ontario
28 March 2003

This is not one of Arnies best action film's, but its still quite enjoyable. I'm a fan of sci-fi action film's and this one is very satisfying. The idea of a game show where convicts have to run from assassins is a pretty good idea for a sci fi film, and it works here. The action was good too, especially when Arnie takes on the assassins. Though its not as good as sci fi action movies like ROBOCOP, TERMINATOR, or PREDATOR, its still a fun flick. 3.5/5

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Believe it or not, there is a message behind all this

8/10
Author: Mika Pykäläaho (bygis80@hotmail.com) from Järvenpää, Finland
12 April 2002

"The Running man" actually tries to tell something important about the television entertainment we are having nowadays. If we take a quick look at some of the most daring and wretched ones of today's game shows we can note that even though they don't slaughter people yet they do almost everything else to keep the audience happy - no matter how immoral it might get. Here's a futuristic vision of a show called "The Running man". It still looks a pretty damn absurd and ridiculous from today's point of view but we're certainly heading to that direction. Slowly, perhaps, put that's the course.

This movie can be seen as what it also is: excellent action movie and alongside with "Conan the Barbarian", "The Terminator", "Commando" and "Predator" it's one of the greatest Schwarzenegger classics of the 80's. He celebrated his 40th birthday in 1987, everybody found him a believable man of action, people loved him and actually took him and even his amusing Austrian accent seriously. If I look at "The Running man" and compare it to Schwarzenegger's most recent films this one makes me very nostalgic. He's so soft nowadays. But then again, 80's are in the past. In "The Running man" we have lots of cruel and brilliant fights, exciting and funny chases, maniacal bad guys with interesting weapons and among many other good things Arnie's famous "I'll be back" -oneliner. Yes sir, I like it.

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It's SHOWTIME!

Author: Anthony Bannon (bannonanthony) from Annalong, N. Ireland
16 March 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of THE best Schwarzenegger films. SPOILER WARNINGS: in the not too distant (dystopian) future, Arnie plays a cop/soldier falsely convicted of murder. Escaping with the help of Weiss and Laughlin, two members of a resistance movement, he tries to flee the country, picking up a hostage in the form of young musician Amber. He is caught and forced to participate in the RUNNING MAN, a brutal game show where he, his buddies and later Amber, must fight for their lives against vicious traps and the brutal and sadistic Stalkers. This movie is crammed full of violence, humour and a bunch of colourful characters. The Stalkers are a unique lot indeed: Subzero: a sumo wrestler/hockey player with a razor-sharp stick, 'Buzzsaw' Eddie Butowski, a nutcase with a chainsaw (who gets one of the most horrible deaths in the film), Dynamo, a really comic guy who lights up like a Christmas tree and finally Fireball (MARS ATTACKS' Jim Brown), a guy who favours the flame thrower as a weapon. Perhaps more could have been done with these guys but it's still great watching them battle it out with Arnie. Arnie himself gives a credible performance. Richard Dawson is also excellent as the hateful game show host Killian. Arnie's PREDATOR co-star Jesse Ventura also gets in on the act as retired stalker Captain Freedom, and has a good time, but again perhaps more could have done with him. But we can't have everything. Also getting in on the fun is Mick Fleetwood, founding member of Fleetwood Mac, as the STAR TREK loving resistance leader. The music score by Harold Faltermeyer is quite good as well. The FX are okay and the costumes are all fantastic. I really recommend this one for every action fan! Stay tuned during the credits, there's a great song by John (St. Elmo's Fire) Parr and a cheeky closing announcement from the show's voice over guy! EnjoY!

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It's time to start RUNNING!

Author: No Nukes from Nowhere interesting
6 October 2001

Arnie is at his absolute hammiest in this silly, silly gladiatorial extravaganza in the spirit of DEATH RACE 2000. Totally unrelated to the Stephen King novellete which it was allegedly inspired by. Lotsa gore, lotsa fightin', and lotsa groan-inducing puns. But wait! There's more...there's camp! There's cheese! There's Arnie in a loud Hawaiian shirt! And best of all, there's the classic B-movie goofs and logic lapses. Badmovies.org fans will love it.

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Disappointing, though not without entertainment value

Author: millennia-2 from In shame (2005 update)
8 April 2001

Well... I watched this back to back with Angela's Ashes, and I don't think this one even deserves a one out of five going up against that, but I'll resist the temptation to compare them (pretty much impossible, because you can't get two movies more different from each other than those two). On it's own, The Running Man is at the very least entertaining, with Schwarzeneggar delivering some very good one liners. However, the script is shallow beyond belief, and the film lacks focus and direction. The acting is very stock, with Arnie given a role that requires him to only grunt and utter lines that you see in all his other movies (I'm innocent and I'll be back among them). Maria Conchita Alonso fares no better, given a flat, two dimensional character and asked to deliver. Yaphet Kotto is very underused, and as the only true actor in the cast, disappoints.

See it if you're a die hard Schwarzeneggar fan (and if you are, you've probably already seen it), otherwise stay clear and rent one of his better films, either True Lies or The Sixth Day

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This Was Based On A Stephen King Novel?

8/10
Author: aesgaard41 from United States
21 December 2000

I've only cared for King's horror novels, such as It, Shining and Salem's Lot, but this movie may have been based on man's fascination for violence and King's views on where our future may be heading. In this future, the government is ruled by a dictatorial totalitarian regime which uses television violence, escapism and sensationalism in a future coliseum to subdue and distract a rioting dissatisfied general public. This merger of government and entertainment allows for many TV parodies such as those seen in "Stay Tuned" as psychos become government employees hired to kill, maim and just murder potential dissidents for public TV. Enter Arnold as the likeable guy framed for a crime he didn't commit because he wouldn't take out orders to kill civilians. Richard Dawson plays up his role as a demented talk show host (If only Colonel Hogan saw what he had become, he'd have turned him over to the Nazis !), and Maria Conchito Alonzo plays her role as the female sidekick somewhat distracted and out of place half the time. Future Mayor Jesse "The Body" Ventura hams up and mugs his way through his scenes as Yaphet Kotto puts so much into his role that for him to die early in the film must have been a breath for air. There's some light comedy and black humor in this as the movie is constantly side-tracked with promos for its fictitious psycho TV shows. It's a typical Arnold Schwarzeneggar movie with Sci-Fi undertones and an anticlimactic ending.

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A bit too silly and flimsy to get away with it.

Author: vkn from Amsterdam
29 November 2000

The original novel had the merit of -trying- to make a slightly serious point in an otherwise terribly silly story. However, this movie adaption has tossed any thoughtful bit there might have been to this right out of the window, and has thus made itself completely impossible to take seriously. That's not to say it isn't enjoyable. It's fun to watch enough, but very hokey and stuffed with such poor puns you'd think you're watching an extra-violent kid's flick. Nice, but corny and utterly stupid, then (which doesn't -have- to be a bad thing). Best watch it with your brain switched off.

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perfect for a night in

Author: pete d
12 October 2000

The film is everyting you would expect from an arnie flick. The action is fast, the plot fairly minimal (compared to the book which goes into such trivial things as motive and feelings) and the whole thing plays which such a level of cheeseyness you can't help but like it. The Gladiators have such fantastic names that they appear like evil super heros but the only trouble arnie has is thinking up an appropriate witty comment after dispaching them one by one. The quiz host is brilliant as he is evil in a slimy TV way. This is by no means a classic but what did you expect when you saw who the star was?

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Great 80's action flick

Author: North Stars Fan from Minneapolis Minnesota
28 August 2000

I first saw this movie back in 1987 and to this day I love it just as much as I did back then. The one liners in this flick are classic. The funniest one has to be when Arnie is about to kill Fireball, and right before he blows him up with a flare he says "Here, how about a light" and complete with his Austrian accent, it's absolutely hilarious. It definitely has a 1980's feel to it, as do most movies made in the 80's that try to depict what the future is going to look like. Although the movie looks incredibly dated, that doesn't stop it from being a classic. Definitely Arnie at his best

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Another story

7/10
Author: hdmail from CT
24 August 2000

This is not a BAD movie. It's just that, with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the title role, it becomes a completely different story from what was intended. In the original novella, the whole point was that there was this average, everyday Joe, forced by circumstance to compete in the ultimate of game shows, and BECAUSE he was average and everyday, he relied on brains more than brawn to solve his situations. While Schwarzenegger's performance was intelligent and cerebral in that same vein, his appearance and reputation make the viewer think, "He's smart, but if he has to, he can and will kick butt." Had they cast an average, everyday-looking actor, the butt-kicking scenes would have been, as they were in the novella, more satisfying.

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