The year is 2019, finally the year The Running Man is set in. It is a world where the retarded adoration for the 80’s prevented us from evolving past it. The country is ruled by a tyrannical government and the TV is shite.
On the TV men have to be watermelons with thoughts and women have to be all about the leotard. In a time where there are apparent food shortages there are also game-shows which have opera singers with electric-shooting suits. What a timeline to witness.
Running from the Future
This cinematic marvel predicted many things for our future; all of it bleak, besides the colourful leotards. There is intense poverty, an oppressive regime ruling over and Adobe Premiere Pro has become so advanced it can show events that never happened. So, in this future where violent entertainment and politics are co-dependant, what did it get right?
Well for starters, the interconnectedness between government and TV entertainment is alarmingly on the nose. With the sitting President being a former reality star and is basically the embodiment of 80’s chauvinism, with none of its wit, rolled into a single organism.
Another thing it got right was the public’s quest for distraction via reality shows and general media consumption despite the grim environment piling up around us. With more areas of America looking like slums and with their police becoming more and more militarily supplied, these sort of futures aren’t too wacky.
Dystopia VS Dystopia
In reality, the potential dystopia being formed is far more boring. It’s also dramatically less likely to be shattered by a one-lining hench maverick. Arnie is still involved in politics though, so maybe it’s too early to tell.
There are some topics in The Running Man which are mirrored within the real world. The distrust of the media through fake news, the infinite quest for ratings and a government who’d rather deal with sociological issues through force rather than fixing the root cause are a few of the prominent ones.
The gladiatorial games that the film revolves around are designed to sedate the populace. The goal of this? Have less people asking questionins about current affairs and to cheer for the sport of murder. I suppose this is fairly on form with the reality-star fascination plaguing media for the past decade. Whether or not these stars could ever be adored whilst letting people get murdered on their show, who knows? I don’t think I’d be surprised either way.
How Many Biceps out of 10?
The film is the usual over-the-top masculine campness to be expected from the Golden Age of Arnie films. Featuring a nice degree of one-liners and over the top dramatics, The Running Man does everything it can to project raw energy; because nothing is manlier than rescuing the babe and killing the bad guy.
Of course the embodiment of all this campiness comes in the form of the rival gladiators that Arnie has to combat. One more-so than others. Of course I’m speaking about Dynamo; the fat, operatic man who can shoot lightning and wears a suit covered in LEDs, because he wasn’t fabulous enough already.
Aside from an excuse to show off tight bodies and murder, the film doesn’t have too much else to offer. It’s a very straight forward film with a very simple premise; Arnie good, Arnie struggle; Arnie kill bad guy.
There’s not much else to really delve into without giving away the complete feature. The only character development which occurs isn’t through Arnie. This development becomes more of a case of people forgetting that they didn’t want help Arnie to begin with.
So really, The Running Man isn’t a great film and it’s certainly not one of Arnie’s best. But if you enjoy the ride of these types of films and like to see nonsensical violence where muscles and quick wits are king then this is definitely a film for you.