Final Run (TV Movie 1999) Poster

(1999 TV Movie)

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Welcome aboard the Cliché Express!
Lou Rugani13 October 1999
And they're ALL on board Americana Rail's crack Grand Royale: the Disposable Engineer, the Cute Little Kid, the Arrogant Politician, the Sick Passenger (who needs immediate help), the New Stepmom (who just wants to fit in), the Ex-Quarterback-who-lost-the-Big-Game (but who gets a new chance to save the day), and... the Unlikely Hero! What I mean is, they've already parodied this sort of film in the "Airplane" series and "The Big Bus". Still, this could have been done very well; but there are so many distracting factual errors that we keep getting thrown off....the track. Railroad disaster dramas are hard to pull off, anyway; trains go, or they don't. So they made this one hard to stop, with so many goofy reasons for it that railroaders will be rolling in laughter. (That schtick was tried in 1973's "Runaway", with the same results.) It's not all bad; there is some great British Columbia rail photography to be seen, and the interior scenes are done well. But when the plot says the Grand Royale is doing over 80, we can see it's obviously more like 25 at best, even with the tricky camera angles that are used. Stuff like that is just carelessness. A pity; I wanted to like this movie.
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About as much fun as a root canal
AVickers23 July 2002
Warning: Spoilers
*** Contain spoilers (not that that's really possible with this film) ***

Let's face it, this movie is dire. If it were possible to give a negative stars rating on IMDB, this would truly be a -5* film.

Let me quickly run through the plot, such that it is:

1) Big fancy computerised train goes out of control when the computer is short-circuited by a fizzy drink (but the GPS & control-room comms keep on running, luckily). Of course, all of the safety systems fail-dangerous (the opposite of fail-safe).

2) Engineer (that's "driver" if you're British) falls off said train, whilst looking at a BFO fuse which blows up in his face; as fuses tend to do.

3) Robert Ulrich (Glen 'Lucky' Singer, ho ho ho) runs around trying some things out, then falls off the train (which is supposed to be travelling in excess of 80mph). Not one to let such a minor mishap get in his way, he runs up a hill, and jumps back onto the train. (You think I'm making this up, don't you? Well, I assure you, I am not).

4) Control room have option to set a switch ("points" for the Brits) which will fire the train into an embankment, killing all on board. If they don't, it will career of a cliff onto a hospital. Umm, OK then. Our valiant hero is convinced he can do something else, however. Although the points have already been changed, they are reversed - just in the nick of time, of course.

5) Using a convenient SkyCrane helicopter as a brake, Ulrich blows up the carriage/locomotive couplings with some C4 explosive he just happened to have/found (I forget which). Although the rope snaps, the carriages stop anyway, much to the relief of the obligatory critically ill passenger (who seems to make a remarkable recovery towards the end of the flick).

6) Still that loco... Fortunately, by exploding the fizzing remnants of the computer, Ulrich forces the train to jump the track into a convenient gorge on a completely straight piece of track no-where near the hospital. His mate in a helicopter (another one, not the SkyCrane) helps him to safety.

Some films are so bad, they actually become must-see (e.g. "Plan 9 From Outer Space"). This one, however, fails even to make that grade. It's pure twaddle, with absolutely no saving features whatsoever. A jelly is more suspenseful, watching your front lawn grow is more exciting.
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A laugh a minute.. no just one big joke.
F1ame19 May 2002
You wonder how stupid a film has to get before you call it a spoof. You could easily have made this film twice as good by employing Leslie Nielsen to open the door to the cockpit and say "Good luck, we're all counting on you".

For me the suspense in these films is made by the realism. Intelligent people doing the sensible things that just don't go right, or the sensibly designed equipment is just not up to the job.

Here we have stupid people doing idiotic things, the laws of physics are completely ignored. Ropes pass through overhead cables. And quite frankly I think I designed a safer locomotive when I was 12. A bird with precise bowel movements could have shorted out this train.

In fact I recommend you watch it backwards, that way you can go from the obvious outcomes to the hilarious and unpredictable reasons that got them into that outcome.
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Turgid tripe
lorenellroy10 August 2002
Robert Urich was a perfectly good actor but one who rarely got roles that stretched him and he spent most of his career doing this type of TVM triviality It is a disaster movie scenario with the newest,safest train around going haywire when its "pilot"spills liquid over the computer which controls the running of the vehicle amd sends it hurtling out of control ,Unless Urich can save the day passengers and maybe patients in a local hospital are going to perish. Urich ,naturall ,has domestic problems as well with his son estranged from his stepmother .Add to the brew a pompous Senator,a heart attack victim and some personable crew members neeed ing to step up to the plate and you have the ingredients for a dreadfully familiar picture

Some striking British Columbia scenery and an okay climax lift things a bit but as was so often the case Urich deseved better. Mediocre.
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It's NOT ok to have technical errors when that's what you're showing!
wombat_123 February 2003
I won't repeat the vast list of technical errors and impossibilities that the previous commentators made, I think we all spotted them for ourselves. My comment is in a different direction.

I frequently have issues with commentators who concentrate on technical errors in movies. I think that often they have missed the point. In this movie, however, such commentary is entirely relevant. Here, the entire movie is about (correction, is SUPPOSED to be about) the "technics" of a modern computerised train gone wrong. Thus, in my opinion, in a movie like this, the movie makers have an obligation (to their own credibility, if nothing else) to get the technical details right, because in theory, that's what their movie is trying to show! If they don't, they suffer the consequences: as so many of the other commentators said, the movie becomes a spoof of itself.

Also, and I'm a bit surprised that no-one else has picked up this point, I would have thought that by 1999 we would have gotten past the cliche of "infallible computer fails". Or was this some kind of twisted pre-Y2K hype?
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One of the biggest wastes of bandwidth in history!!
panope10 October 1999
Every trite cliche, every sub-plot imaginable, combine to make this the most awful piece of trash I have ever seen. From stepmother/step son conflict to failed athlete to obnoxious Washington politico(is there any other) a hodge-podge of garbage.
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So bad, it's brilliant!
Michael Hodkinson30 June 2005
There wasn't a moment of this film that I didn't enjoy. It was soooo bad that it has to be fattening! But because of its terrible script and using every cliché under the sun, it's hilarious! You have to see this film just to believe how terrible it is ... but only once! I think this film is actually a spoof but the creators didn't say this, just to add to the spoof effect but didn't work out how they planned. One thing that leads me to believe this may be the case is the sheer amount of crazy clichés, such as the runaway train with the driver killed, a passenger who just happens to know how to drive a train, a man having a heart attack, the rail points jamming until the last second when they open effortlessly ... the list goes on!

It's absolutely awful ... see it!
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A really funny movie...
Michael Scotts11 October 2004
This is one of the funniest travel-catastrophe movies I've seen... pity it was meant to be serious!

As soon as the so-called engineer spilled his cup of water into the computer system, I knew it was going to be a stupid movie.

This engineer didn't even know what to do to bypass the computer and was frantically searching through the manual, which he obviously had never read before... some training! (No pun intended.)

The only thing missing from this crappy, ground-based 'Airport' was the elderly stowaway and the nun. We had the pompous politician, the emergency heart attack, the driver (pilot) who fell off the train (really!) and so on...

If you have a choice to see this movie or watch paint dry... go for the paint!
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Oh the predictability, the cliché...
haggar19 February 2005
This movie has major plot holes. This movie is full of clichés (my personal worst peever). Much of the acting in this movie was terrible. What this movie lacks is the smallest reason for watching it.

The clichés are so numerous - in fact, the whole movie is one big cliché - that you can safely predict everything except the mind-boggling plot holes. So there is no way any of the "spoilers" in the comments below, could actually spoil this movie. You will be able to figure out pretty much all that's going to happen, already some 15 minutes into the movie.

You can do something better with your life.
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Is this as bad as it gets?
AnOnImO-325 October 1999
Just had a great time seeing how bad this movie really is. Maybe it was the poor acting, the uninteresting sub-plots or the terrible music score, but the thing is that this is one of the worst movies ever. Do you like bad movies just for the sake of criticizing it? Then this is the one for it.
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watched 5 minutes,
Ibizagirlie31 May 2004
...but only because my husband was laughing so hard at it! at one point in the movie this helicopter is a round, modern red helicopter and then suddenly it changed to this green military one - and back again to red, and then back to the green one. We couldn't help but watch the last 15 minutes because we were laughing so hard!!what a load of c*ap. apparently this movie is supposed to be some kind of action drama with a lot of suspense but all we could focuses on were all the faults, the BAD acting and all the goofs! The people who edited the movie must really have had a hard time, because especially the color of the helicopter goof is so obvious and horrible, there IS no way of editing that huge mistake out. if you want to watch a comedy, which wasn't intended to BE a comedy in the first place, then watch this one 10 stars for laughing credibility and 0 start for it's actual intention!
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This movie has a crisis of genre identity
wltkring30 March 2006
The real interesting disaster of this movie has nothing to do with the scenario advertised on the box, but should rather be read between the lines -or seen between the frames as might be more appropriate to the medium- as it is one that happens to the movie in stead of in it. The breaking of trees and rock that occurs in the in-scenario disaster pales by comparison to the breaking of laws of physics (not to mention engineering safety codes in how that crazy train is designed). From the 'good disaster movie' point of view, this is the greatest of all mistakes, because a disaster movie should present the audience with something that they can imagine to really happen, in the real world. When the storyline can only be held up by overruling normal reality with the kind of alternate physics usually reserved for action movies, then a decent producer should admit failure at producing a disaster movie, increase the special effects and relabel it as an action movie or, if lacking budget for that, a spoof or persiflage.
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This movie should be "derailed"
cuddles-1211 October 1999
A potentially terrific theme, but I feel it was "sidetracked" by poor acting, terrible dialog, and an "uncoupled" attempt to "tie" the personal problems of the stars to the main theme of the runaway train. The photography was very good, everything else met a "red signal".
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This movie is terrific!!!
oldiesfan6216 April 2002
My whole family watched this movie when it came out, and we all loved it!! The casting is great, the plot is great, and well . . . It totally keeps you on the edge of your seat, longing for more! I was upset every time a commercial break interrupted. I can't believe that anyone could write a scathing review for this TV-movie. It's one of the best I've ever seen, and my family, too, still remember it fondly.
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Awesome, Incredible Suspense!!!
Okidata13 October 1999
This action packed movie is really suspenseful and does a good job of keeping you on the edge of your seats. I hope that this one comes out on video, I really want to watch it again. This is a great film for someone who likes suspense, action. There is the perfect amount of thrill for those interested in mechanics.
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This is actually a good action film.
randyfach20008 September 2005
OK it is not the best action flick and no it won't win an academy award but it is fun and entertaining which is what it is suppose to be. This is not an artistic film, have you watch any of these, now they stink. This is an action film that is all it is. To me it is good because Robert Urich is not Steven Segal or Chuck Norris. He is a regular guy who happens to find himself in an extraordinary situation.

If you want to watch an academy award winning film this is not it. However, if you want to get away for awhile and believe that ordinary people can to extraordinary things this maybe for you. Make sure you see Final Desent first though. Enjoy!!
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Bad Movie / Good Movie
reimers159418 November 2008
This movie was so enjoyable because it was so terrible. I would like to know how to purchase a copy of it. I have not previously been able to find it. E-mail me at if anyone knows how to purchase a copy of it. It was one of the more enjoyable movies as family we have ever watched on television. I'm sure if we could view it again there would be many more instances of things that do not make sense. It is hard to believe that this was actually put together as a serious action drama. I'm sure the people involved at some point realized the real strength of this movie is just how corny it came out. A man jumps off a 80 mph run-a-way train and is able to climb a hill and jump back on the same train. So bad I can not wait to see it again
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All aboard the Springfield Monrail
mariondowning6 April 2007
This was like watching an extended dumbed down version of the Simpson's episode with the monorail. High tech piece of machinery costs a fortune, has no overide, has no brakes, employees have no training, characters with the depth of a 2D cartoon character. Mix it with an episode of Superman (mainly the bit about being faster than a speeding locomotive). The driver had less knowledge of driving this train than Homer did and Homer is meant to be dumb. I waited for the Siamese twins to be separated and the giant doughnut to stop the train. The giant doughnut was more realistic than the ending in this flop. If you want to watch a believable program about stopping a runaway train watch Homer and son save the day and save yourself an hour and a few brain cells.
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