Friday, 9 November 2007


RUN (1991)

Directed by: Geoff Burrowes
Screenplay: Dennis Shryack & Michael Blodgett
Starring: Patrick Dempsey, Kelly Preston and Ken Pogue

Run is an underrated and under seen gem. A glossy looking, well crafted and thrilling man-on-the-run flick, it manages a fine balance between suspense and action. Charlie Farrow (Dempsey) is a college law student looking for anyway to make an extra buck to help pay his way through school. Slightly cocky and always full of energy he gets a job driving a brand new Porsche across state to deliver it to its wealthy owner. While on the road the car (inevitably) breaks down and Charlie is forced to get it repaired. Having a few hours to kill he is introduced to an underground gambling club where he tries his hand at wining a little more cash. However, another gambler takes a dislike to Charlie and one scuffle later said gambler is accidentally killed. Turns out he is the son of a local mob boss, who along with some crooked cops set out to terminate Charlie. Alone, save for a little help from a kindly card dealer (Preston), and fighting for his life in an unfamiliar town, Charlie has no other option but to run.

Giving quite possibly the most energetic performance of his career (or any action movie), Patrick Dempsey, literally, tears across the screen in a serious of high octane chase sequences. His character begins brash and slightly arrogant but as the film progress and the threats on his life increase, Dempsey transforms Charlie into an endearing character the viewer is left rooting for. There is able support from Preston, Pogue and a couple of crooked cops but the film belongs to Dempsey. After the initial set up, Run becomes one long chase movie and that’s why it works so well. Those looking for intricate and dense plot will want to look else where (with a title like Run, it’s going to be all about the action), but those who like their action movies sleek and slick will find a lot to enjoy.

Director, Geoff Burrowes and stunt coordinator, Mic Rodgers, have crafted a serious of break neck and intricate action/stunt set pieces that give Run the breathless momentum it needs to sell its story. From the bowling alley chase, to the police car high fall, to the Uzi fight in the dog racing stadium, Run’s action sequences excel in ingenuity and suspense. They are tightly constructed giving the maximum adrenaline rush action scenes should. All are well paced within the story, as Charlie runs from one life threatening situation to another. This gives the sense the character is always on the move and if he stops for too long, he will end up dead. It should also be noted that all the action is crafted without the aid of CGI. Run was madev well before the age of computer enhanced trickery and is all the better for it.

It’s a shame Geoff Burrowes has never really directed anything since. An Australian director/producer, Run seems to be his only foray into Hollywood. A pity as Run is one the best late 80s/early 90s action films that aficionados of the genre should check out immediately.

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