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Runaway Photos

Movie Info

In this advanced society, most homes have robots that perform everyday menial duties. Every so often, one malfunctions, and Sgt. Jack Ramsay (Tom Selleck), an expert in rogue machines, must deal with it. When he and his new partner, Karen Thompson (Cynthia Rhodes), investigate a robot-involved homicide, they discover strange computer chips. Rather than a malfunction, someone is programming the robots to kill. The police must find whoever is behind the murder before more harm is done.

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Critic Reviews for Runaway

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (11)

  • Lady-cop-robo-fun. Nothing really profound here but who cares?

    November 5, 2008 | Full Review…
  • This Michael Crichton robotic nightmare is so trite that the story seems lifted from Marvel Comics.

    July 22, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Once it turns from the hardware and the action to people, you can hardly believe your eyes or your ears.

    June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
  • Mr. Crichton has a much better feel for the film's gadgets than for its human players.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2/5
  • A wooden, cliched cop movie with the tiniest sliver of a sci-fi twist, Runaway stars Tom Selleck and Cynthia Rhodes and features Gene Simmons, cast against type as a sleazeball.

    March 30, 2021 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…
  • ...a briskly-paced thriller that's been packed with attention-grabbing sequences and action interludes...

    January 16, 2021 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Runaway

  • Oct 19, 2012
    The films ambition is undone by some truly terrible writing and direction. The concept is interesting idea and could be explored further with a remake. The budget hampers the film and the misguided score which seems to be overbearing. Tom selleck is quite solid in the lead and this is another clear career choice that stopped he's career from taking off. The support cast is just poor, this is solely the fault of the director who makes to many errors. In typical eighties fashion it had bad ideas and an over the top ideas that are laughable.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Dec 04, 2011
    The Terminator wasn't the only killer robot in theaters back in 1984 thanks to Runaway, written and directed by the late Michael Crichton. The mustachioed Tom Selleck stars as a cop who specializes in neutralizing bots gone bad in a near-future where they've infiltrated nearly every aspect of life. These aren't the replicants of Blade Runner, but plausible machines that are fun to compare with what exists today. This was another late-night Netflix pick, and to be honest I feel a little dirty for mentioning such sci-fi classics in my review of this film (it turns out Crichton was better behind a writing desk than a film camera). What we're really interested in are the robots of course, and the film doesn't disappoint. There's an irritating nanny robot called Lois, a security robot that tasers anything that moves, a small monocopter used for reconnaissance, as well as farming and construction robots. An autonomous cop car has a mannequin in the driver's seat and projects a map directly onto the windshield. Among the highlights is a small household robot that looks something like a Roomba with an arm, which ends up killing several people when it picks up and shoots a gun. Best of all are the killer hexapods that can jump and crawl on walls like a mixture between this locust-inspired hopper and Stanford's gecko-inspired StickyBot. It's comedy gold. The hexapods are supposed to be threatening, but they look like hobby kits you can buy today, which really cracked me up. There is some attempt to depict non-robotic technology of the future as well, such as the iPad-like devices that people are shown using, but otherwise everything looks pretty ordinary for the '80s. It all looks very silly, and it doesn't help that Gene Simmons is the central villain. He's armed with a gun that shoots smart missiles that can turn corners. It's hard to believe such a celebrated author penned this film, what with the immediate and cliched romance between Selleck and his cute new partner, not to mention his son's creepy enthusiasm for it. As for the technological side of things, the ideas actually aren't all that far-fetched. There's genuinely something to a PR2-like robot picking up a gun and shooting people if tampered with by a hacker, for instance. Unfortunately, even if some bits can be considered ahead of their time, it's hard to take seriously with the ham-fisted acting and cringe-worthy plot. Runaway wasn't intended to be a comedy, but like many films that try to predict the near future it's now entertaining for all the wrong reasons. It's the details the film gets right and horribly wrong, at the same time, that make it fun to watch. This review is a repost from my site: www.plasticpals.com
    Robotbling - Super Reviewer
  • Jul 01, 2011
    The man's man Mr Selleck is on top form here and so is that iconic tash as he goes up against a nasty robot controlling villain with his feisty blonde partner in a not so distant future (that future being waaay in the past now). Written by Michael Crichton and using some (at the time) top looking robot effects mixed with computer wizardry and fancy looking imagery the film actually does achieve the aim of being set in a regular world now accompanied by robots with all kinds of duties. It reads like an Asimov story and is quite good fun despite its age, the acting is amusing and hammy, Gene Simmons is great fun as the evil baddie and the weaponry on display is quaint, its almost like a comicbook flick. Its actually kinda cool to watch this film and recall all this old technology, I think I actually remember those little spider robots being shown on TV way back, maybe on 'Tomorrows World' or something like that, loving those big chunky computers and the fact that Selleck couldn't track evil Simmons when he called up because Simmons was using a mobile phone haha how did we all survive without mobile phones!? Its all obsolete but its still much fun to watch which almost goes for most of Selleck's work.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2010
    A great sci-fi action movie, very exciting and cool. I really liked this movie.
    Aj V Super Reviewer

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