Star Runners (2009 TV Movie)
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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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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