While in 1987 this may have been simply another action star for Governor-to-be Schwarzenegger, viewed today this film offers more layers of meaning.
"The Running Man" is a reality show in which criminals are forced to run from bounty hunter-types who are given WWF wrestling style introductions and use a myriad of weapons to kill their prey. The audience cheers and boos mercilessly as the real-life people meet tragic ends. Seen today in the era of "Survivor" and "Fear Factor," among other reality shows, this movie offers much in the way of questioning the direction of such television. Is this the direction reality TV is going? Also good for a look at mass media and people's belief in what is told to them.
The movie is what it is. Fist-pumping commando, guns and heavy artillery. Schwarzenegger is wrongly framed for a crime he didn't commit and made a criminal in this Orwellian society in which the mass media is everything. He's forced into The Running Man world. There's some throw-away jokey lines after disposing of the heavy villains, but the real treat is watching real-life game show host Richard Dawson playing the slimy, evil host of The Running Man - the real villain in this movie full of larger-than-life killers.