The Running Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Running Man Reviews

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June 13, 2016
Is it just me, or did this movie inspire the hunger games? Overall, great movie, great practical effects, and story. Two thumbs-up! Unless you have more thumbs.
May 16, 2016
When you make a Stephen King novel (using his alias Richard Bachman) into a movie and then put Arnold in it you cannot lose! Arnold smashes up all aspects of the Running Man game show.
½ May 4, 2016
I've got to admit, I didn't know what to expect with this specific installment in Arnold's filmography, but I did like it. Let's go over the pros and cons.

The actors do a pretty decent job with what they have, Arnold has some very good and very well timed one-liners in The Running Man, "Family Feud", "Hogan's Heroes", and "Match Game" alumni Richard Dawson actually is one of the most entertaining villains in any of Schwarzenegger's movies, and this was Dawson's only major film role. Arnold and Dawson played off each other very well. The evil game show host vs. the honest badass contestant (also keep in mind, Arnold was on Chuck Barris's "The Dating Game", so this is not his first "game show" appearance). My favorite is when Arnold tells Dawson, "I'll be back!" only for the guy to counter with, "Only in a rerun." Also, where else will you get to see Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura trade blows?
I liked the 80's music for nostalgic reasons (this will sound odd, but it's because it reminds me of my early years and the music from the Sonic the Hedgehog series on the Genesis).
The action sequences are a lot of fun. This is one of those movies where Arnold Schwarzenegger gets to be a pretty nasty guy and kill the Stalkers after him in rather unpleasant ways.
And overall, it was a fun ride while it lasted.

I think outside of the interactions between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Richard Dawson, the story and characters are weak. There really isn't any chemistry between Schwarzenegger and Maria Conchita Alonso, and the end kiss between them is completely cliché for action movies, considering they have NO romantic interactions at all throughout the movie (she's his hostage in the first act, and a comrade runner in the third act. Not good material for a love interest). I did since some buddy-buddy relationships between Arnold and the two redshirts that are dropped into the game with him, but it's still not strong. And I couldn't really care for how Arnold was framed for the mass murder at the beginning of the movie or for the fascist world The Running Man took place in.
While the scenes in the game studio and in each of the fighting arenas was entertaining, the lead-up to each of these scenes is slow. It's called The Running Man, not the Walking And Talking Man. The waits should have been good places to set up suspense like in a horror movie, but there is as much deadly suspense in The Running Man as there would be in a "Winnie The Pooh" short. For an Arnold Schwarzenegger film, that's just no good.
I DID say I liked the music for nostalgic reasons, but said music isn't memorable.
And I think the game zone was too dark and not varied enough. I know the 80's had a thing with dark settings and bright lights, but it gets old.

Overall, I think The Running Man is an okay movie, and worth renting at least once if you're a game show or Arnold Schwarzenegger fan, but it's not his greatest work. Still, I had a good time watching this, and I may revisit it at some point. We'll see.
April 26, 2016
I love the look of the future back in 80s movies, and The Running Man has to be the most 80s-looking future I've ever seen. There's some serious camp in this film and I imagine people who didn't grow up in my generation would find it too silly to enjoy. I actually have fun with the over-the-top nature of the movie, and think it just adds to the story. The world they created in this film is one that might be a little off in its prediction of the future, but not as much as the writers probably expected. We might not be watching people actually being killed on reality TV, but consistent public humiliation of people is featured on TV every single night for our entertainment. Schwarzenegger is great in the lead role, and he is definitely convincing as a man who could easily fight back against the game. My only problem with him is that he can't really pull off the sadness you'd expect when he loses his companions. He moves on too quick and easily. But when we look at the cast, I honestly struggle to think of someone who was better casting than Richard Dawson. His experience on actual game shows makes him an ideal person for the role. And what surprised me was how perfectly he captured the behind-the-scenes persona who cares more about ratings than human life. He is the perfect characterization of someone who we can hate, but believe that the home audience would love. The story of The Running Man is more fun than it has any right to be, and somehow I can overlook a lot of the logical inconsistencies in it. This is a movie that was perfect for my generation, and even though I'm seeing it for the first time nearly 30 years after its original release, I still enjoyed it a lot.
½ April 19, 2016
Finally watched this from start to finish and it is pretty damn bad. I am sure back when it came out it was a bit better for a sci-fi film but it now is generic and along with the horrible acting it is enjoyable for the hilarity of corny one liners and cheesiness.
April 18, 2016
The Running Man is classic Arnold - jam packed with cheesy acting, the classic one liners, and plenty of action - this time, actually fulfilling a decent overall story but filled with a bland, dark atmosphere and feel.
In 2019, Ben Richards is wrongfully accused of killing hundreds of innocent civillians, forced to participate in America's top rated television show The Running Man, a deadly gladiator combat oriented game show hosted by the slimy Killian. Arnold and his friends must fight for themselves against numerous "stalkers" and killers.
The Running Man is just average. Nothing too special about it and not too much to say, it's decent but rather forgettable. Arnold delivers on his consistent badass performance yet again, playing the same kind of role in almost every action film he's in, but the other actors are a bit iffy - Richard Dawson is charming and hilarious and definitely stole the show. The Running Man has a compelling and interesting plot that isn't just an excuse for action eye candy and Arnold. However, the overall plot seems fine until it actually unravels its atmosphere - it feels very dark and even desolate, sort of, and gives off depressing vibes. Despite its promising overall storyline, an hour and a half of it can get very tiring and there's better Arnold scenarios under the same schtick out there. If you're looking for classic Arnold, The Running Man is for you - if you're looking for a classic action film, go for Terminator.
April 17, 2016
The Running Man (1987) ?? 1/2
Wrongly convicted Arnold Schwarzenegger must try to survive a public execution gauntlet staged as a game show (sort of a futuristic "Most Dangerous Game" story). Trashy action movie is aided (greatly) by Richard Dawson as game-show host. Available on Netflix.
April 10, 2016
George Orwell gets the Arnie treatment. So funny to think that it is set a year from now. Some good kills and text book one liners from schwarzenegger. Love the Carpenteresque score and the bad guy Killian is such a cunt.
½ April 8, 2016
It's crazy how much this is like an 80s Hunger Game starring Ahnold. Love it.
March 23, 2016
The original "Battle Royal" and "Hunger Games" for an older generation, "The Running Man" is a container of many quotable lines and an enjoyable Schwarzenegger display.

March 22, 2016
Very clever movie. Great sci fi.
½ March 13, 2016
While it has it's moments and Arnold isn't bad in the film, the special effects are dated, the dialogue is terrible and it's extremely boring at times, even though there are some corny one liners in the process.
February 11, 2016
Good and decently regarded Arnie flick. Doesn't take itself too seriously.
Upon rewatch it now makes me think if George Carlin got the idea for that bit on a deathsport reality show. Makes it a little ahead of its time, the film.
Also those one liners by Arnold, yeah buddy.
February 3, 2016
I loved The Running Man.
It was the one movie from my childhood that I instantly loved.
It was such a fun idea to me.
A game show that takes criminals into scenarios where they must fight ultra strong people, with high tech weapons to survive.
It was a dystopian society where death by murder was popular because it was justified because the victims were criminals.

The host of the show is the legendary family feud host and he does a fantastic job.

It's just a really fun premise, with cool gadgets and memorable villains .
Super Reviewer
½ February 1, 2016
Good film a few corny one liners but it's different, The plot was made too over complicated and was no need for it and can ruin it at times.
January 3, 2016
Great fun, although it plays out more like a video game than a traditional movie, which may bother some people but I love video games so that's not problematic for me. Richard Dawson does a great job here playing a real slimeball here.
½ January 2, 2016
I tried to watch this on the Sci-Fi Channel and the later on Netflix awhile ago. The movie was based on a book by Stephen King when he was Richard Bachman. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a police guy in the near future, wrongfully accused of murder. In this future the only form of entertainment is the Running Man a game show where criminals fight and compete for their freedom. This premise really sticks with you since it seems like reality TV is going down this road at times. Where we have to intentionally die from someone's entertainment.
The movie itself is okay and Arnold does a lot of one liners. There's also some electric guy to tries to kill the Running men and he also does opera too. If your a fan of 80's Sci-Fi and social commentary this is your movie.
½ December 20, 2015
"Well that hit the spot!"
½ December 16, 2015
Fun sci-fi flick. In my opinion, one of the best Arnold films.
December 9, 2015
O ano é 2019. No estado fascista que a América tornou-se, Ben Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger) é um piloto de helicóptero da Polícia Federal. Uma noite, durante uma patrulha de rotina, ele recebe ordens de acabar com o motim de mulheres e crianças desarmadas em busca de alimento. Quando Ben se recusa a obedecer, alguém assume o comando da aeronave e faz o trabalho. O estado coloca a culpa em Ben, que se torna conhecido como '' o açougueiro infame de Bakersfield, '' e manda-o para a prisão. The Running Man tem os modos e as engenhocas de um filme de aventura sci-fi, mas no fundo é um purê de ritmo acelerado e pouco cativante.
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