HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
Knockabout
400 Blows, The
Virus: 32
Studio 666
Great Movement, The
Lost in La Mancha
Cellar, The
Sacred Spirit, The
Chess of the Wind
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Scream
All I Can Say
You Are Not My Mother
Silent Enemy, The
Small Body
   
 
Newest Articles
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
   
 
  Runaway Train Don't Stop Me Now
Year: 1985
Director: Andrei Konchalovsky
Stars: Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay, Kyle T. Heffner, John P. Ryan, T.K. Carter, Kenneth McMillan, Stacey Pickren, Walter Wyatt, Edward Bunker, Reid Cruickshanks, Dan Wray, Michael Lee Gogin, John Bloom, Hank Worden
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Manny (Jon Voight) is one of the toughest criminals in the Alaskan Stonehaven prison, as made clear by the fact that he has been welded into his cell for the past three years on the orders of the warden, Ranken (John P. Ryan). But now the warden is on television admitting that Manny's appeal against his treatment has been successful, an announcement that is broadcast on the prison tannoy after one young convict, Buck (Eric Roberts) convinces the man in charge of it to do so. A riot ensues, but Ranken has his own ideas about how to deal with this troublemaker even as Manny devises a way out for good...

A favourite of Marlon Brando thanks to Voight's powerhouse performing, Runaway Train was one of the few films produced by Cannon during the eighties - and there were quite a lot - to receive much critical success. Perhaps this was down to the credibility of being based on an abandoned project by Akira Kurosawa no less, here adapted by a team of writers including crime author and actor Edward Bunker, best known by movie buffs for writing Dustin Hoffman's cult drama Straight Time and appearing as Mr Blue in Reservoir Dogs.

With names like those involved, it's not surprising that what emerged under Russian Andrei Konchalovsky's direction should be a heady brew of machismo, and many of the cast seemed happy with the delicious taste of scenery that they insisted on chewing. First we have to get Manny out of the prison and into that metaphor, so after a scene that makes it plain that the unscrupulous Ranken is setting him up to be murdered by convicts in the warden's pay, while also showing just how tough Manny can be in a fight, our anti-hero puts his schemes into action. This he does with the assistance of boxer Buck, who smuggles him into the yard in a laundry basket.

Yet Buck is not satisfied with that, and being something of a fan of this he-man prisoner persuades Manny to allow him to tag along. Well, he doesn't so much persuade him as go along anyway and soon they have escaped through the sewer system and out into a freezing river: this is the Alaskan landscape in the middle of winter after all. Presently they arrive at a railway station and climb aboard an empty locomotive, but here is where the plot contrivances strain credibility as once the vehicle's journey is under way, the driver has a heart attack and falls off the engine, leaving the convicts in, yes, a runaway train.

They don't cotton on immediately, but when the train smashes through a carriage or two that happen to be in the way they get a pretty good idea of what's up. Meanwhile in the nerve centre of the rail network, they are beginning to panic as they cannot crash the train safely due to someone spotting three people aboard. That's right, three - rail worker Sara (Rebecca De Mornay) is also there, having fallen alseep earlier and now can take care of the exposition needed to tell the other two exactly why they cannot stop. We're supposed to accept that the train and Manny are pretty much one and the same, you can either join him on the tracks to oblivion or jump off. Or he can let you off. Or something, it's not a very solid comparison, but the shots of them hurtling through the snowbound mountains and forests make up for the thematic deficiencies as you're watching. Runaway Train has a lot more in common with the disaster movies of the previous decade than it might care to admit, and even if Voight does get dialogue that makes him sound like Mr. T, you can't deny it commands the attention in its pretentious and macho fashion. Music by Trevor Jones.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4856 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (3)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: