RUNNING ON EMPTY REVIEWED
“Running on Empty” was a movie that I always saw on TV as a kid. Hell, I think I watched the entire movie in 7 minute increments by the time I was 9. It’s when you get older that you learn about the film’s ripped from the headlines roots. Honestly, it wasn’t until the Obama 2008 campaign that I made the connection to Bill Ayers. How did someone think that Judd Hirsch could pull that off? He barely does it in the movie, but that’s due to Lumet pushing the guy so hard.
What saves the movie is River Phoenix and Martha Plimpton. What could’ve been a whiny movie about baby-boomer fugitives actually turns into one of the 1980s most realistic love stories. I totally buy Plimpton and Phoenix as a couple. Fun fact: they were a couple. Much like most of Lumet’s work in the 1980s, it tries to be everything to everyone. The film only succeeds when it can splinter the characters into different factions and focuses on what matters to them. Poor Christine Lahti gets so lost in this movie that it makes “Swing Shift” seem like a fluke.
- 1.78:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD 2.0 MONO