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‘Run’ (PG-13)

By Hal Hinson
Washington Post Staff Writer
February 02, 1991

Geoff Burrowes' monotonous new film "Run" is oxygen-debt filmmaking. The title pretty much says it all. It's about running -- that's it.

Patrick Dempsey is the star, but it's hard to know why the director went to the expense of hiring an actual human. A greyhound would have worked just as well. A certain purity and single-mindedness is at work here. From start to finish, the film is simply a chase. A minimum of energy has been expended on anything else, certainly not character or plot. And, though Dempsey displays an impressive athleticism and a low-key charm, he is too much of a lightweight, too ordinary, to make a distinctive impression.

The character he plays is a wise-guy Harvard law student named Charlie who earns money for school by playing poker and working as a car mechanic. As a card player, he's spectacularly lucky. But his fortunes change when he drops in on a card game in a small New England town and starts winning from the wrong guy (Alan C. Peterson). Angry, the rowdy brute starts shoving Charlie around, and in the scuffle, trips, hits his head and dies.

As it turns out, the ruffian's father (Ken Pogue) runs the town, the cops included, and he sends out the order to nab Charlie and drag him in. See Charlie run. The bad guys shoot, the bad guys miss. See Charlie run some more. Finally, the thing runs you right out of the theater.

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