Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Film review: The Running Man

Running Man is set in a dytopian future where America has turned into a Fascist state. Any cultural activity is pretty much censored. Enter Arnold Schwarzenegger who plays Ben Richards, a helicopter pilot for the Federal police who disobeys a direct order from his superior by refusing to shoot down women and children during a food riot. Next thing you know he's locked up and the media had already broadcasted a different remixed version of the actual massacre that sent him to the labor camp.

He manages to escape along with fellow cohorts only to be caught and forced into participating in a game show called The Running Man. The state-run production chooses a prisoner "the runner" to be hunted down by professional "stalkers". A futuristic gladiator-type setting broadcasted live on TV to keep the rest of the population docile. Ben Richards is supposedly given the chance to earn his freedom if he manages to stay alive for the next 3 hours. But we all know there's no "winners" in a dystopian movie, just unmarked graves and a brainwashed population.

The movie is filled with falsified media reports and terrible one-liners such as "I'll be back", "Hey Christmas Tree!! Hey Light Bulb!!", "Here is Sub-Zero, now Plain-Zero", "Get me the Justice Department - entertainment division".

My fave one-liner: "I don't want to be the only a**h*le in heaven."

Lots of familiar faces in this movie:
Jesse Ventura, Mick Fleetwood, Dweezil Zappa, Richard Dawson

The movie is based on a short story by Richard Bachman (Stephen King). I've never read the book but apparently it's very different from what the film ended up being. By different, I mean better. I'll be sure to add that to my reading list.

I'm categorizing this movie under "things you should watch at least once that way you can say you've seen it but nothing more"

Buy the movie and enjoy the dystopia (and the one liners!)

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