30 obscenities and 18 profanities, revenge, gambling, bribery, substance abuse, auto theft, murder (including an electrocution), violence, and destruction of property
Full of tiresome chase-sequences and implausible occurrences, RUN features Patrick Dempsey as sophomore Harvard Law School student Charlie Farrow, who finds himself caught in a nightmare when a car he is delivering breaks down in a small New England town.
Obnoxious and somewhat of a smart-aleck, Charlie gets involved in an illicit, back room poker game with Denny, the only son of a mob boss, who trips and dies accidentally. Presumed guilty of a murder he did not commit and running on the wrong side of the very system of justice he is studying to uphold, Charlie is hunted by the town’s vengeful crime lord and a corrupt police force.
So Charlie runs — on foot and in stolen cars through bowling alleys, shopping malls, parking garages, and amusement parks. Along with his only ally, Karen, the card game’s dealer, Charlie relies on his quick wit and resourcefulness to stay alive as he struggles to clear his name. How resourceful is he? Well, he yells, “Bomb!” in the midst of a crowd to get out of a sealed shopping mall where the police know he is trapped. What originality.
Charlie contacts the FBI. Then, he’s chased some more and finally apprehended. But, wait! The police chief on-the-take has had a change of heart and decides to turn Charlie over to the FBI and expose the corruption in his force. However, the mob intercepts Charlie and takes him up to a rooftop to throw him off, only Charlie isn’t the one who is thrown off. Thus, on it goes until all the thugs are either shot or impaled.
Although this is a tale of a common college kid triumphing over adversity, the ease with which Charlie escapes or outruns automatic machine gunfire is so outlandishly improbable and implausible that one can hardly find any of it believable. There really is nothing worth commending. Police are portrayed as easily bribed rather than as an institution for the maintenance of law and order. Charlie’s reluctant ally, Karen, shows more selfish concern for looking out for number one than for the cause of justice.
Even more tiring than the chase sequences (which are filled with much violence and destruction of property) are the instances when someone shouts, “Look, it’s the guy on the news!” and everyone runs away from Charlie (like in the Godzilla movies). Come to think of it, that’s not a bad idea: run away from RUN.