Running On Empty intertwines the coming of age of a boy along with being a fugitive due to being the son of some 60's radicals. The stories each have their separate place for much of the film as we follow the boy, played by River Phoenix, through becoming acquainted with a new life and enjoying it. This leaves the nagging element of the radical past always ready to strike. Now the coming of age story is just fine though nothing too notable about it. The radical side of things has some good elements, like when the mother meets her father, the final goodbye, but too many repetitive elements as well as Judd Hirsch who goes from being very good to being very terrible. I think the sides of the film end up cohering well enough, but honestly those two scenes I mentioned above are the only ones that stand out in my memory of the film. Not that the rest of the film was bad, but it's mostly adequate with a few stronger scenes in there.