- Movie Rating -

Runaway (1984)

| December 14, 1984

Runaway is kind of a wind-up toy.  You wind it up and it does something and then it slows down and stops.  That’s not a bad thing, actually, but it doesn’t necessarily leave you with much when it is over.  It’s a fun rinky-dink little adventure without a lot of meat on it.

On an intellectual level, there isn’t much to work with here but on a popcorn level, I’m fully onboard.  It is one of those weird movies that takes place in the not-too-distant future where technology has slightly improved enough for us to become dependent on robots but not enough on common sense.

The world of this movie is a society in which robot are everywhere in our daily experience.  They clean our house, they drive our cars, they care for our children and occasionally they go insane and kill people.  That’s the job of Jack Ramsey (Tom Selleck), a member of the police department’s Runaway Squad, which tracks down robots that are malfunctioning.  He’s pretty glum about his job until he suddenly begins to uncover evidence of a manufacturer who is programming robots to kill.

He is Luthor (Gene Simmons), a homicidal maniac whose robots kill people sometimes at random and sometimes on purpose.  He wants to control the robot market, I guess, in order to gain personal power.  Whatever his machinations are, Selleck has to stop him by stealing back his technology.

There isn’t much to review here.  This is a sci-fi movie done at the level of bonehead action.  There are a lot of neat ideas here but that’s all they are.  There’s a heat-seeking bullet.  There’s a droid with knock-out gas.  There are little spider-bots that inject their victims with poison.  All of this is neat stuff and perhaps under another director it could have been used better, but still I liked Runaway.  It’s a fun popcorn movie that doesn’t leave much for the gray matter.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1984) View IMDB Filed in: Sci-Fi/Fantasty