Review: ‘Runaway Car’

Runaway Car (Tues. (21), 8-10 p.m., Fox) Filmed in Los Angeles by Finnegan-Pinchuk Co. Executive producers, Sheldon Pinchuk, Michael Rhodes; producer, Lori-Etta Taub; co-producer, Daugherty Chase-Slover; line producer, Ed Lahti; director, Jack Sholder; script, Paul F. Edwards; camera, Anghel Decca; editor, Alan Geik; production designer, Anthony Tremblay; music, J. Peter Robinson; sound, Patrick Mitchell; casting, Robin Lippin Cast: Judge Reinhold, Nina Siemaszko, Brian Hooks, Paul Eiding, Glenn Morshower, Brian Reddy, Leon, Elizabeth Dennehy, Tia Texada, Michael Potter, Ketty Lester, John McCann, Maree Cheatham, Bob Tur, Rick Hurst, Andrew Cooper Wasser, Pat Millicano, Christopher Kriesa, David Ursin, Bo Reynolds, Cam Brainard, Alec Murdock, Monique Edwards, Michael Ryan Way, E.J. Callahan, Bill Dunham. Klutzy young woman's car suddenly becomes stuck at full speed ahead while she's carrying two strangers and a baby as passengers. Purportedly based on a true incident, "Runaway Car" combines elements of "Speed" and "Duel" for a white-knuckle ride that's more effective the less you worry about the implausibility of Paul F. Edwards' script. Nina Siemaszko stars as Jenny, a nurse who's so inept that she keeps fumbling with clamps during heart surgery. Picking up her car after a tune-up, she's hectored by businessman Ed Lauter (Judge Reinhold) into giving him a ride; after sideswiping skateboarder Dex (Brian Hooks), kind-hearted Jenny offers him a ride as well. And, she's taking care of her sister's infant daughter. Once on the freeway, her accelerator pedal jams and the ride is on, with the car being chased by Highway Patrolman Beau Beaufort (Leon), with help from a 911 operator (Paul Eiding) and radio program hosts Les (Bo Reynolds) and Ray (Cam Brainard). After attempts at obvious solutions brakes, ignition fail, mission is to keep car from crashing into anything until it runs out of gas. One might wonder where the true incident ends and script fantasy begins, but Lauter seems to have found the only garage in the U.S. without a tie-in to a car rental agency (and everybody's forgotten that Enterprise will come to you); likelihood of Jenny's late-'70s American clunker having a sunroof seems remote; and wouldn't it have been more reasonable for Ed's cell phone battery to run down than what happens here? Director Jack Sholder and editor Alan Geik keep the action coming through various widespread L.A.-area locations despite commercial breaks. Characters are appealing (Jenny becomes increasingly plucky and resourceful), except for the annoying Lauter; most viewers will be cheering for the others to toss him from the car at earliest opportunity; that they don't may be even less plausible than that sunroof. Todd Everett

Runaway Car (Tues. (21), 8-10 p.m., Fox) Filmed in Los Angeles by Finnegan-Pinchuk Co. Executive producers, Sheldon Pinchuk, Michael Rhodes; producer, Lori-Etta Taub; co-producer, Daugherty Chase-Slover; line producer, Ed Lahti; director, Jack Sholder; script, Paul F. Edwards; camera, Anghel Decca; editor, Alan Geik; production designer, Anthony Tremblay; music, J. Peter Robinson; sound, Patrick Mitchell; casting, Robin Lippin Cast: Judge Reinhold, Nina Siemaszko, Brian Hooks, Paul Eiding, Glenn Morshower, Brian Reddy, Leon, Elizabeth Dennehy, Tia Texada, Michael Potter, Ketty Lester, John McCann, Maree Cheatham, Bob Tur, Rick Hurst, Andrew Cooper Wasser, Pat Millicano, Christopher Kriesa, David Ursin, Bo Reynolds, Cam Brainard, Alec Murdock, Monique Edwards, Michael Ryan Way, E.J. Callahan, Bill Dunham. Klutzy young woman’s car suddenly becomes stuck at full speed ahead while she’s carrying two strangers and a baby as passengers. Purportedly based on a true incident, “Runaway Car” combines elements of “Speed” and “Duel” for a white-knuckle ride that’s more effective the less you worry about the implausibility of Paul F. Edwards’ script. Nina Siemaszko stars as Jenny, a nurse who’s so inept that she keeps fumbling with clamps during heart surgery. Picking up her car after a tune-up, she’s hectored by businessman Ed Lauter (Judge Reinhold) into giving him a ride; after sideswiping skateboarder Dex (Brian Hooks), kind-hearted Jenny offers him a ride as well. And, she’s taking care of her sister’s infant daughter. Once on the freeway, her accelerator pedal jams and the ride is on, with the car being chased by Highway Patrolman Beau Beaufort (Leon), with help from a 911 operator (Paul Eiding) and radio program hosts Les (Bo Reynolds) and Ray (Cam Brainard). After attempts at obvious solutions brakes, ignition fail, mission is to keep car from crashing into anything until it runs out of gas. One might wonder where the true incident ends and script fantasy begins, but Lauter seems to have found the only garage in the U.S. without a tie-in to a car rental agency (and everybody’s forgotten that Enterprise will come to you); likelihood of Jenny’s late-’70s American clunker having a sunroof seems remote; and wouldn’t it have been more reasonable for Ed’s cell phone battery to run down than what happens here? Director Jack Sholder and editor Alan Geik keep the action coming through various widespread L.A.-area locations despite commercial breaks. Characters are appealing (Jenny becomes increasingly plucky and resourceful), except for the annoying Lauter; most viewers will be cheering for the others to toss him from the car at earliest opportunity; that they don’t may be even less plausible than that sunroof. Todd Everett

Runaway Car

Tues. (21), 8-10 p.m., Fox

Production

Filmed in Los Angeles by Finnegan-Pinchuk Co. Executive producers, Sheldon Pinchuk, Michael Rhodes; pro-ducer, Lori-Etta Taub; co-producer, Daugherty Chase-Slover; line producer, Ed Lahti; director, Jack Sholder; script, Paul F. Edwards.

Crew

Camera, Anghel Decca; editor, Alan Geik ; production designer, Anthony Tremblay; mu-sic, J. Peter Robinson; sound, Patrick Mitchell; casting, Robin Lippin.

Cast

Cast: Judge Reinhold, Nina Siemaszko, Brian Hooks, Paul Eiding, Glenn Morshower, Brian Reddy, Leon, Eliza-beth Dennehy, Tia Texada, Michael Potter, Ketty Lester, John McCann, Maree Cheatham, Bob Tur, Rick Hurst, Andrew Cooper Wasser, Pat Millicano, Christopher Kriesa, David Ursin, Bo Reynolds, Cam Brainard, Alec Mur-dock, Monique Edwards, Michael Ryan Way, E.J. Callahan, Bill Dunham.

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