If you enjoy a high-tension thriller, then Runaway Train is a must-see film. Manny (Jon Voight) and Buck (Eric Roberts) break out of a remote Alaskan prison. Manny is a veteran con, hard and fatalistic, while the younger Buck, who is a couple of bricks shy of a full load, practically worships Manny. They make their way across several miles of wilderness and stow away on a southbound train. Home free, right? Wrong--the engineer has a heart attack and falls off the train, after jamming the throttle open, plus the brakes are burned out, so the train quickly accelerates to an uncontrollable speed. Meanwhile, out there behind them is Warden Ranken (John P. Ryan), as savage as any of his inmates, determined to bring them back. And that's not all: Manny and Buck find that they aren't alone. Railroad employee Sara (Rebecca De Mornay) is also on the train--and she really, really doesn't want to die.
As I said, the tension never quits in this one--credit Russian emigre director Andre Konchalovsky. All three principals give very believable performances, intense and full of emotional honesty--Roberts was Oscar-nominated, and Voight and De Mornay are equally superb. I could have done with a little more subtlety in Trevor Jones' score, which gets overblown at times, but otherwise there's little fault to find in this film. To my great surprise, it was produced by the infamous Golan-Globus team, generally know for exploitive trash, not quality moviemaking.
"May the hinges of friendship never rust, nor the wings of love lose a feather"--Scottish blessing