Saturday, February 27, 2010

When Sci-Fi Let's You Down: Runaway (1984)

My faithful readers know that I am a man who loves sci-fi action, particularly of the 80s and 90s. Tonight, I decided to have a go with the film Runaway (1984) starring Tom Selleck and Cynthia Rhodes. This movie had all the promise of being a solid sci-fi action movie; kind of a Bladerunner or an I, Robot type. The Netflix synopsis goes something like:

Sgt. Jack Ramsey (Tom Selleck) is the police robotics expert on the case when evil genius Dr. Charles Luthor (Kiss front man Gene Simmons) unleashes his reprogrammed androids.

In the end, Runaway was a bit of a let down, despite Netflix's predicted 3.3 stars rating based on my personal preferences. Seeing Gene Simmons as Luthor, criminal mastermind and murderer, opposite Selleck was reasonably entertaining. But other than that, not a whole lot of note to mention...

...that is, aside from the epically un-scary robots which are supposed to comprise the impartial hand of said criminal mastermind. Now, I don't normally like to get down on older movies for having crappy "futuristic" technology, but I can't help myself with this one. Runaway seems to go to great lengths to show its audience that toaster ovens with 357 magnums are assuredly not scary.

The fact of the matter is, well-before Runaway's release, Ridley Scott and James Cameron were doing a hell of a job creating sci-fi films which have definitively passed the test of time (think Alien and Terminator). Director Michael Crighton has no excuse for creating this refuse. Have a look at the clip below to see just what I mean...