Cinema: Lower Depths Runaway Train

Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky Screenplay by Djordje Milicevic, Paul Zindel and Edward Bunker


Where are the disarming jokes? Where is the cheeky, kidding charm? Where are the stunts that draw gasps and laughs from the audience but not a drop of blood from their participants?

It is as if the makers of Runaway Train had never heard of Butch, Sundance, Indiana and the other relentlessly cheery adventurers of two decades. The result is a dour, weirdly compelling movie that is an act of either high creative courage or heedless self-destructiveness .

The plot is as linear as, well, a railroad line. Up in Alaska is the toughest prison in the history of the...

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