Monday, June 13, 2011

Runaway (1984)

Director: Michael Crichton

Starring: Tom Selleck, Cynthia Rhodes, Gene Simmons, Kirstie Alley

More info: IMDb

Tagline: IT IS THE FUTURE. Machines are being programmed to turn against us. Someone must stop the madman who started it all.

Plot: In the near future, a police officer specializes in malfunctioning robots. When a robot turns out to have been programmed to kill, he begins to uncover a homicidal plot to create killer robots... and his son becomes a target.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Noop.

I really dig the premise and the picture works (for the most part) except for the one-dimensional villain (Simmons) and those dumb killer spider robots. On the contrary, I liked how the home service bots were more boxy and functional instead of human like.

Jerry Goldsmith's score is entirely electronic and often just a bunch of synth noise. I tried listening to the soundtrack twenty or more years ago and had a horrible time of it. It definitely works better in the film but it's still noisy. Basil Poledouris would have made a good job of the film. Going half electronic and half orchestral would have at least been easier on the ears. Selleck was fun and likable in the lead. It's too bad Simmons didn't do more with his role. Take out those dorky spider bots and lose the conventional ending and RUNAWAY might have been something of an overlooked classic instead of an average B picture with a little ambition but not enough to take it all the way.

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