Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Runner (1999)

Hmm...this might have worked for my salute to Loveable Losers, except the protagonist is just an idiot. 

Synopsis: Gambling is bad, mmmkay? You could lose your house, alienate your loved ones, or even be forced to hand over your first-born son to a criminal mastermind with radio-controlled attack dogs. Wait, WTF?!?

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: "Never make a bet you can't afford to lose."

What Did I Learn?: Apparently, Courtney Cox can act. I wouldn't have guessed that even after viewing a season or two of Friends.


Really?: 1) See: "Synopsis"... radio-controlled dogs? 2) So, does Deepthroat (John Goodman) have any hobbies, or anything? Considering he's filthy rich, does he really have to spend all of his time at a desk in some abandoned factory with a computer and telephone headset all day? 3) Funny how is never occurs to Edward (Ron Eldard) or Karina (Courtney Cox) to... oh, I dunno.... talk to the police, considering a psychotic bookie wants to steal their baby boy. 4) How does Deepthroat know the gender of the baby so quickly? Does he have a spy at the hospital? 5) So wait - Edward suffers a serious head injury, and we're told the slightest pressure on his temple could cause instant death, and yet [NO SPOILERS!].

Rating: The Runner starts out well, but quickly becomes increasingly implausible after Joe Montegna's character is killed off by the radio-controlled dogs. The film is heavily contrived, the story stops making sense after awhile, and its ending is ridiculous, but I'm going to give The Runner an extra half-star (and a barely passing grade) based upon Cox's performance - I had no idea she has some real talent. 5.5/10 stars.

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