It took six credited writers to put together this compendium of TERMINATOR take-offs and tired chase cliches, and TIME RUNNER still fails to make sense.
A time-warping "wormhole" opens up next to the Earth on October 6, 2022, during a devastating alien invasion. Retreating astronaut Michael Raynor (Mark Hamill) gets sucked inside and crashes in Washington state on October 6, 1992, where his spacecraft is confiscated by government UFO
researchers. He's hunted by paramilitary goons, the same humanoid aliens who will attack the planet thirty years later; they've been infiltrating terrestrial society and government for ages.
One of the aliens, a scientist named Karen (Rae Down Chong), inexplicably decides to help Raynor combat her own kind. Together they contact a 1992 presidential frontrunner named Neila (Brion James) who, Raynor knows, will be world leader by 2022. What they don't realize is that Neila--whose name
is a none-too-subtle-clue--is one of the invaders. Every once in a while, the filmmakers flash forward to an unrecognizably built-up Washington D.C. in 2022, where human holdouts fight the planet's last stand against the invaders. Just as valiant are the nameless extras' attempts to make the
aliens seem awe-inspiring without the benefit of prohibitively expensive special effects.
Eventually, Neila and his unearthly cohorts realize that Raynor's due to be born in 1992, and rather than kill the adult Raynor they hold in their clutches, the villains race after his pregnant mother; if they terminate her, the time-tripper will never have existed. The good guys finally
triumph, mainly through the assistance of Arnie Hawksworth (Gordon Tipple), a gun-toting pilot who can be counted on to jump out of the shadows anytime, anywhere, and rescue Raynor from certain death.
STAR WARS alumnus Hamill grits his teeth and tries hard in his space cadet part, while the rest of the cast look dazed and confused. Rae Dawn Chong's bewilderment is particularly understandable, since her character is called Karen Donaldson in the dialogue, and Karen MacDonald in the closing
credits. The filmmakers responsible for TIME RUNNER are in fact the same conspiracy-happy, Vancouver-based group who forged PROJECT: SHADOWCHASER, ULTIMATE DESIRES, and low-budget pictures involving duplicitous presidents and military betrayal. Director Michael Mazo (one of the six screenwriters)
relies too heavily on slow-motion scenes and a booming soundtrack to smooth over the rough patches. (Violence, profanity.)
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: NR
- Review: It took six credited writers to put together this compendium of TERMINATOR take-offs and tired chase cliches, and TIME RUNNER still fails to make sense. A time-warping "wormhole" opens up next to the Earth on October 6, 2022, during a devastating alien… (more)