Star Runners (TV Movie 2009) Poster

(2009 TV Movie)

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Far from SciFi Channel's Worst
gray1937-115 November 2009
Yes, it the plot is incredibly formulalistic. Yes, the CGI is largely inept. But no one who has viewed "Centipede" or "AVH: Alien vs. Hunter" or the "War of the Worlds" remake with C. Thomas Howell could legitimately rate this one (1) out of ten (10). The movie is fast paced, though hokey; the actors (particularly Trinneer and Lee) are largely competent to good; the villains are evil enough; the chicks are attractive if not gorgeous. The plot is thin, but has some interesting science fiction content. The most negative thing I can say is that the evil humans are scripted poorly, directed without much spirit, and underplayed by actors who maybe don't have much talent. Michel Culkin (Colonel/General Bishop) certainly isn't Sidney Greenstreet, but probably suffers more from weak material and dull direction than acting ineptness. This is definitely not great theater, but it is certainly an acceptable SciFi (I just reject that SyFy inanity) space opera.
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The Best in Bulgarian Cinema
"Star Runners" is what happens when you take every science fiction movie or TV series of the past three decades, put them in a blender, then take the result and set it on fire. The best part of watching this movie is identifying which sci-fi franchise they're ripping off at the moment. It may be Star Wars in one scene, Firefly in the next, then Starship Troopers and Aliens down the line. At least with this film, the Sci-Fi Channel blew most of their budget hiring a couple of decent actors, Star Trek: Enterprise's Connor Trinneer, and Heroes' James Kyson Lee. Of course, most of the rest of the cast comes from various former Soviet republics. But that's okay, because Star Runners is probably the best Sci-Fi Original Movie to come out yet... Not that that's saying much.
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If you're bedridden and can't change the channel, hope you have NyQuil...
kiawa7720 June 2009
If you've seen Star Wars, Starship Troopers, The Fifth Element, then you've already seen all the parts of this movie. If you've seen a few Sci-Fi Channel Originals, then you've already had a taste of the bad and boring that this baby will bring to you, like brussel sprouts to a toddler.

My husband, who had not seen Starship Trooprs or The Fifth Element, was more entertained and said, "That wasn't as bad as their usual movies." I didn't have the heart to tell him that it was.

I will admit that the acting isn't *as bad* as a lot of the other Originals, but the script and the story (or rather, lack thereof) are.

The only way this one won't waste your time is if you are bedridden and you can't change the channel. Even then, pray for enough NyQuil to knock you out; there's not much here to miss.
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ctomvelu121 December 2010
A TV movie that is a cross between PITCH BLACK and THE FIfTH ELEMENT, with a little SERENITY thrown in for good measure. A space crew is ferrying a crate that turns out to contain a female with extraordinary powers. Naturally, various bad guys are after her. The crew ends up stuck on a planet full of man-eating creatures. You can figure where it goes from there. Shot in Bulgaria with a no-name cast. Interestingly enough, perhaps out of political correctness, the female with the weird powers is played by a black woman. In ELEMENT and SERENITY, similar characters were played by white actresses. At best, RUNNERS is a time killer. Catchy title, though. Takes me back to the '70s and '80s and several kitschy sci-fi flicks that were all ripoffs of STAR WARS.
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Made for TV & filmed in a quarry... Need I say more?...
ajs-102 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of those 'made for TV' Sci-Fi movies that are made on a tiny budget, and it really shows. It's mostly shot in a quarry and, like most films shot in a quarry, it has to rely on a decent script to carry it off. Unfortunately, this film doesn't have one of those either. But I digress; let me tell you something of the plot before I really rip into it.

Two smugglers, Tycho 'Ty' Johns and Lei Chen are captured by the government and blackmailed into collecting a crate from a distant space station. They arrive and locate the crate only to find their ship is being watched by some rebels. They open the crate and find a young woman, Asta, inside. Booking a flight on a commercial transport, the three make their escape. They soon find they are being followed and, after the pilot is killed, make a dangerous jump into hyperspace. They emerge in an uncharted region of space and crash-land on an unknown planet. The survivors make for a man-made structure. They search it and find they are not alone, there are eight foot bugs living there with a taste for blood. The rebels soon follow; they are very keen to get their hands on Asta. As time goes on we discover more about Asta and why she is so special. So special indeed that military ships also arrive to retrieve her. Just on the off-chance that someone might want to see this, I'll end my summary here, so as not to give the ending away.

To be honest I really didn't care for this very much. Don't get me wrong, I like Sci-Fi a lot, but decent Sci-Fi, not this pulp. The story was too predictable, the dialogue was diabolical and the effects were pretty poor. The one thing in its favour was the acting wasn't too bad, but how they brought themselves to deliver some of those lines is beyond me. So, honourable mentions go to Connor Trinneer as Tycho 'Ty' Johns (you may know him better as Charles 'Trip' Tucker from TV's 'Enterprise'), James Kyson-Lee as Lei Chen (again, you may know him better as Ando Masahashi from TV's 'Heroes'), Toni Trucks as Asta and Aja Evans as Jenessa.

Over all it's a pretty poor TV movie shot in a quarry that doesn't hit the mark. There's some acceptable acting but that's about all I can say about it. Definitely NOT recommended.

My score: 3.6/10
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Mildly interesting, poor production
jaymay55-600-20869812 March 2011
Connor Trinneer is as warm and sexy as always, but even he can't overcome the cheesy effects and poor writing in this one. Then there are the laughably inappropriately, inexplicably partially-dressed women in the way, and the generally poor production values. There is little in the plot to hang onto, and they completely fail to take full advantage of the only sexy cast member - Trinneer - which might have at least managed to hold some interest.

On the more positive side, there are moments of sincerity and moments when the acting is allowed to overcome the movie's other defects. Some of the supporting cast aren't bad and it would have been nice if they had had better material and directing to work with.
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Speaking of ripoffs
danindenver15 November 2009
Along with all the other ripoffs mentioned, I'd like to add Red October and Firefly to the list.

I know that there are valid reasons to copy a working formula, but to simply rip off random elements of several different creative works and blend them together into a single composite work, and do it successfully, requires true genius. Here, in a single movie, a new generation of TV viewers can be brought up to speed on all that Sci-Fi-dom has to offer! Of course, there is a fine line between genius and insanity....

Honestly, the movie is not the worst I've ever seen. It's just so sad that no one, today can come up with original material.
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Tired Trip Show
sipovic13 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I just watched new Connor Trineer movie and must honestly say it is awful. Movie tried to be "Fifth Element" and "Starship troopers" in the entourage of "Serenity" but very, very cheap. Instead it one big mess. The plot could be placed on fortune cookie, action was unbearable to watch, computer graphic in space was tolerable more or less but decorations... my god, it looked like fan made movie, well at least they didn't make any humanoid aliens. And I can bet they use the same desert as shooting locations at least in 2 other Sci Fi channel movies. Acting is horrible, everybody except Connor acted like their only acting experience was school play in 4th grade. In all this mess only Connor was normal even if he played very tired Trip who obviously want to be somewhere else (on Enterprise I suppose :P ). And yeah, there was a lot of bugs. Bad drawned and bad animated bugs... So let's be honest the only reason to watch this garbage is if you Connor Trineer fan but even if you are, it would be very hard to get positive emotions during this "movie"...
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Bad Sci-Fi, Very Bad Sci-Fi
ptb196515 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
There was absolutely nothing original about this movie. At some point about halfway in, after a dialogue exchange that was so typical (it's on page 33 of your "Manual for Writing Sci-Fi" that I turned to my wife and said, "OK, this is what's going to happen from here on out..." and I was exactly right. Of course the cargo is a beautiful woman. Of course the military bigwig is the bad guy. Of course our rogue "heroes" feel that the spaceship's officer is going to "a problem" after all, he's the only one with leadership experience. But our heroes who are, technically, criminals feel the know best. They complain about running low on ammo, but still have plenty to kill all the bugs they need. Of course there is a turncoat in their midst. Of course, our hero (who was caught so easily in the first five minutes of the movie) can now just as easily take out bad guy at the end. And on and on. The acting is bad, the effects were terrible, the story was atrocious. I agree with the user who pointed out this may have worked as a 30 minute TV episode. Two hours was ridiculous. It seemed like something an 8 year old would submit in a writing contest after watching Star Wars and A Bug's Life back-to-back. Except that it was only worth seventh place.
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Boring and Formulaic
scottwallvashon15 June 2009
I can't believe the SciFi Channel once again tricked me into watching one of their sub-B movies. The previews made it look intriguing. It wasn't. It was boring and formulaic.

Star Runners takes ideas from several successful science fiction presentations and merely jumbles them up. You will recognize each part as you come to it and say, "Oh, that's from … and that's from…." There isn't even a new insight into the scenes they copy. They don't actually tell a story. They just string together co-opted words and images to fill two hours of time. The ending happens to tie together what you have seen to that point, but only because the ending they co-opted happens to match some of the scenes they co-opted.

I don't recommend that you watch this even if you have nothing else to do.
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Pretty entertaining
SanteeFats7 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
There some haters out there who really dissed this movie. I enjoyed it very much. You have two guys out on the fringe who skirt the law, if not out right break it, the big bad wolf of the UP, and the atrocity of wiping out a planet by the bad guys. I suppose the CGI could have been better but it was decent in my opinion. Toni Trucks plays Asta. She is an exotic hottie who is the center piece of the movie, although not the head liner. She is the only survivor of a planet that the UP wiped out because of the changes occurring in their gene pool. This is caused by the unique rays form their sun. She is a mutant with many strange abilities. These abilities show up through out the movie. I liked it when the anal retentive zero of a pilot (military for an officer) got his head cut off. I have never liked those type of people. My way or the highway or it's regs. The really bad guy is the commander. He lead the atrocity on the planet, sparing Asta, the only survivor that was found, only because his weapon was empty. Leaving her basically to starve. I like the end where she escapes and he is stranded on the planet and the bugs come out. All in all a rather enjoyable movie.
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Typical sci-fi Saturday Crap
amberbaer14 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
It's Saturday night in the USA and the Sci-Fi channel pumps out another turd of a movie - but at least there is only one writer to blame for this piece of crap.

Trip from Enterprise and Ando from Heroes are a couple of thieves on the run when given the assignment to take the last survivor of a dead planet to safety before everyone finds out that the government/United Plantes force was behind the destruction of an entire race of peace loving hippies.

Beyond bad....beyond entertainment....she is the key to everything....but don't waste your time watching...the ending is horrible and the acting is so bad you have to watch it to see just how bad it can be...

Trip lives, Ando dies...and the dialogue is some of the worst and cheesiest crap to be pumped out since Mansquito! Part Starship Toopers (the bugs are the best part), part The Fifth Element, and part "so you think you can act" this movie is one to be missed since I've just told you the whole thing...

Shame on the sci-fi channel....there are so many good stories out there to be told...stop making them into 2 hour movies...make them 1/5 hours and the movie will be better because there is less of it to watch.
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Starship Troopers rip-off
Leofwine_draca23 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
STAR RUNNERS is yet another mindlessly derivative outer space adventure from the Sci-Fi Channel, as usual shot in Eastern Europe on the cheap and dotted with lousy CGI. The story is about a couple of gung-ho types who are sent off to explore a distant planet, only to find themselves battling an army of giant alien insects bent on devouring human flesh. Yep, this is nothing more than a typically cheesy copy of STARSHIP TROOPERS, yet not even coming close to approaching the quality of the Verhoeven flick. It's entirely routine, in fact, and thus completely forgettable.
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How to make a Skiffy Movie
JoeB1314 June 2011
Recipe- 1- Crappy Script that steals ideas and even names from better movies. (NO less than THREE names stolen from the Second Alien Movie) 1- Washed up Star Trek Actor.

Copius Amounts of bad CGI Filming on a redressed abandoned bunker complex in California.

4-5 no-name actors to fill out the cast.

There were themes that could have been explored and weren't. (Colonists evolving into a higher life form, panicking normal humans.) Another observation- the old sexual disparity on how people are killed. In this film, two female characters and four male characters die by badly edited CGI. The male characters are killed quite graphically - burning, decapitations, impalement, while the two female characters are killed in sanitized ways. I'm always amused by this disparity when I see it.

This also suffers from "the plot setup makes no sense". The Government is trying to get this girl who is in cryo sleep and has been left in a locker a baby with a hat pin could break into. But latter the government sends forces into the same space station with no opposition. So why not just send them in to start with?
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Not really that impressive, but the SyFy channel have done far worse
TheLittleSongbird8 June 2012
SyFy have had a very dubious reputation in my eyes. Once in a while they have done something that is somewhat tolerable, and even they are heavily flawed, but all too often their resume ranges from bad to bottom-of-the-barrel quality. Star Runners is nowhere near a great movie, but it is a flawed yet tolerable one, especially when compared to Titanic II, Quantum Apocalypse, Dinocroc vs.Supergator, Battle of Los Angeles, 2010:Moby Dick and Alien vs.Hunter(and they are just a handful of the movies among SyFy's very worst). It did have some good things, a catchy title, decent photography and editing, interesting science fiction(a vast improvement seeing as I often got the impression that SyFy have never been good at researching what they include or to make it plausible at least) attractive female characters and good turns from Connor Tineer and James Kyson Lee. Where it falls down is in the formulaic, highly derivative and structurally-thin storytelling, slapdash special effects(SyFy have done worse in this aspect though), stilted and very uninteresting scripting, clichéd and poorly written characters especially the villains and the villains being largely underplayed even by Michael Culkin whose role was beneath him. Overall, didn't impress me but I was expecting worse and at the end of the day I can think of at least 20 SyFy movies that are worse than Star Runners. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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Pretty disappointing overall
kannibalcorpsegrinder20 September 2012
While attempting to transport a mysterious shipment out of a quarantined zone, two smugglers learn that the planet they're on is infested with a race of vicious insects and must band together with a small band of survivors to leave the area alive.

While this one wasn't truly terrible, this one was a pretty huge disappointment. Among the few positives here is the few times this one lets loose and features some rather enjoyable action scenes here that do come up at regular enough intervals to make an impact. The early space chase as the ship's maneuver around looking for an escape before hyper-speeding away into deep space gets this going nicely, the early explorations of the facility revealing the remains of the facility crew left behind and the resulting discovery of the insects at the early stages of their arrival, the main attack scene in the facility where the creatures come swarming in from everywhere and major gunfights are undertaken in every direction as it forces them into the underground tunnels which is a fantastic action scene on it's own that finally leads into the surface attacks which is all plenty of fun throughout here bringing in some generally enjoyable action scenes. The big final encounter here, which is the charging assault into the secondary facility where the huge mother-bug comes out from the hill-side while their gunfights out in the fields leads to some wholly fun times as the massive swarms and gun-battles gives it a rather frenetic feel. While there is some innovative ways to deal with them and they do look pretty convincing in execution due to their lack of screen-time, the fact remains that as a horror film, this one fails miserably, especially since this one could've been a golden opportunity for some cheesy fun but instead turned into a rather dull and completely science-fiction centered story that didn't have as much emphasis on the horror that it should've. The sci-fi elements are brought to the forefront here with the early half focusing on their predicament with the military and generally a chance to show off the different technology of the time period which dominates the whole first part of the film before it tends to spend the majority of the time on the woman and her mysterious powers, really wiping the bug attacks down to such a minimum that it severely damages the pacing of the film for such an inconsequential area. Had it concentrated more on the giant bugs crawling around instead of treating them as a nuisance to hold off their escapes then it might've been more of a factor in the finale rather than being settled twenty minutes before and having that time get tied up in resolving the sci-fi story which truly shows where the true intent of the film lies. That ties into the main story lines and twists as well which puts way more emphasis on these issues than it does on giving the creatures any kind of special attention, which really lowers this one. The attacks are also just lame, as there's hardly any gore and tends to write itself with the utterly ridiculous CGI that's featured in these films which follows the standard methods of really ridiculous and near-atrocious levels of CGI featured. There was some solid points here, but as it stands there's still too many flaws to overcome.

Rated R: Violence, Language and Brief Nudity
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Sci-Fi Space Swipe
wes-connors11 February 2015
Gun-running space outlaws Connor Trinneer (as Tycho "Ty" Johns) and James Kyson Lee (as Lei Chen) are captured in an asteroid belt and offered a legitimate undercover job. They are to pick up scantily-clad Toni Trucks (as Asta) and turn her over to authorities. They find her shivering in a smoky crate. After giving her some clothing the script calls "inconspicuous" and visiting a soft-core strip-club, the men proceed on their mission. Their ship unfortunately crash-lands on a planet inhabited by Zanti Misfits (special-effected insects). Of course, the creepy creatures are hungry for Bloody Human Fricassee...

This derivative science-fiction monster movie is most notable for its costume designs, by Olga Mekikchieva. Most memorable is the little pink dress worn by Ms. Trucks. At first glance, it looks like a slip. The fetching frock would also look nice on awards night, if "Star Runners" had been nominated for any Emmy Awards. The leading lady fills the dress nicely and is never offered anything warmer to wear. Like the women shivering next to dates on the red carpet, you have to chill to be hot...

A former "Star Trek" spin-off actor, Mr. Trinneer's costume features a black leather jacket. He looks terrific. Black leather goes with everything, even space travel. The costumes are durable, too; observe how they look after Trinneer's crash-landing. The crash looks fatal, but nobody twists an ankle. A more serious strength is "Star Runners" success in visualizing the story's settings, with splicer Matt Michael and director Mat King never leaving the viewer confused about where we are.

*** Star Runners (6/13/09) Mat King ~ Connor Trinneer, Toni Trucks, James Kyson, Aja Evans
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