Sunday, January 17, 2010

Can't Stop, Won't Stop

Runaway Train(1985)
Directed By Andrie Konchalovsky
John Voight and Eric Robert's do "Wages Of Fear" as escaped prisoners on a careening train rocketing through Alaska. What happened to the brakes, you ask? The brakes melted off! And the conductor had a heart attack! And a thousand other problems rise up, like Voight using the word "sucka!" 57 times. Akira Kurosawa (yes that one) wrote the screen-play, which about 8 other writers came along and altered into "Runaway Train"(for further interesting info on the script process see here:'s direction is impressive, especially in the early prison sequences, though the music leaves something to be desired. The metaphor of survival in a world out of control, the train becomes, which I can imagine was Kurosawa's contribution(the Shakespear epilogue?), is balanced by 80's action assualt like the wicked Prison warden (Voights arch enemy) parachutes on board minutes before it reaches a dead end for the final showdown. "Speed" stole much from this, but apparently this stole from a Hindi movie called "The Burning Train". The circle of life it seems. Anyway, "Runaway Train" is an entertaining action film with ridiculous performances from Robert's and Voight sure to provide giggles and maybe pathos?It's also very brutal at times, and often even surprising, expertly milking it's simple concept for all it's worth. I said ridiculous but not bad, it's "Nick Cage in 'Bad Lieutenant' good" (if your into that sort of thing), but faster.

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