Robert Urich in Final Run (1999)

Travelling Through Cliches

There are movies which have made me cry tears of sadness, there are movies which have intentionally made me cry fits of laughter but "Final Run" made me cry because it is so bad, so terrible that it become hilariously good. In this follow up to "Final Descent" we have a computerized train out of control, a cliche in itself but that is just the first of a long list of cliches from a son not liking his step mum to a selfish Senator not caring about anyone else. Add to this more terrible dialogue and acting than I have seen in a long time and some ropey special effects and instead of being an exciting runaway train disaster movie "Final Run" becomes gloriously bad in so many ways.

Glen 'Lucky' Singer (Robert Urich - Magnum Force) along with wife Connie (Patricia Kalember - Straight from the Heart) and his son Kevin (Joel Palmer) are guests aboard a brand new computerized train, something which Lucky isn't too impressed with. And Lucky is right too be unimpressed because after an incident with a drink the computer system malfunctions not only causing the train to pick up speed but also sending the engineer careering off the train when he gets an electric shock. With no driver Lucky takes charge and tries too find a way to stop the train or at least save the passengers before it comes to a dangerous 'S' Bend.

John de Lancie in Final Run (1999)

Now I mentioned that "Final Run" was a follow up to "Final Descent" which I am sure I haven't seen but other than helping to make sense of the early scenes and the various friendships you don't actually need to have watched it because what we have here is the old runaway train and a hero set up. Now in fairness I like these sorts of disaster movies despite being ultimately very predictable and in set up "Final Run" is no different. We get to meet a few select characters as they board the train and then we get the disaster a hilariously bad scene which sees an engineer using paper towels to try and dry up a live, sparking circuit board, it is the stuff of spoof movies. And trust me it gets no better as we get more utter daftness as the train speeds up going faster and faster, which we are told it is increasing by 2 mph a minute, which if you do the math on an already speeding train is even more hilarious.

Anyway I get distracted because there is so much bad about "Final Run" that it unintentionally ends up bloody funny. I think every single cliche under the sun is included from characters to dialogue, to moments of heroics and evilness and once you give up on hoping this will be an exciting movie it ends up good fun.

Now trust me when it comes to stopping speeding trains I have seen a few ideas but the way they do it here is right out of a comic book. You just can't stop laughing when you realise what the plan is and it becomes hilariously painful when you see it happening. Of there is a lot more which is just as hilarious especially a scene which sees Lucky fall from the train and run down a mountain side to jump back on, a scene full of bad special effects and even worse dialogue. And on the subject of Lucky, you've got love Robert Urich for making Lucky such a corny character; in fact all the performances no matter how poor end up entertaining for all the wrong reasons.

What this all boils down to is that as an action, disaster movie about a runaway train "Final Run" is terrible. But it is also so terrible that it is bloody hilarious and between special effects, corny dialogue, cheesy acting and every cliche under the sun it has you in fits of laughter.