What do you get when you mix Enterprise's Connor Trinneer with Heroes' James Kyson Lee? How about a Sci Fi Original Movie and your standard banal Sci Fi Channel title, Star Runners [or is that SyFy- soon]. Throw in a sexy, well-defined, Mariah Carey looking space chick in a skimpy pink dress and you've got yourself a winner. As I sat down to chill for a bit I remembered Sci Fi Channel had a movie on its "most dangerous night of television" [yes, to your health] that I was interested in checking out. So as I started watching I thought I'd write about it without giving it too much effort.
Star Runners is actually pure science fiction delight for fans of the actors and fans of series like Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Enterprise or Stargate. It may not have the same standards of excellence, but my initial reaction was that it looked to be a fun thrill ride through space with reasonably entertaining actors or familiar faces. My opinion of the movie would dissolve quickly.
The special effects are equally solid for a change. They rank up there with any of the series I mentioned previously and that's always a good start. The ships, the jumps. All of your standard sci fi cliches are in order and there were some unique takes on technology to begin things.
The dialogue was snappy and fun. Okay, I can't do it any longer. It really is truly a terrible movie, but it's terrific science fiction cheese in the best possible sense. As far as the worst in science fiction goes this ranks up there as one of the best of the worst if that's possible.
Trinneer and Lee crash on a planet with a host of others after being fired upon by a governmental entity [nod to Firefly] and attempt to survive alien space bugs [nod to Starship Troopers or Pitch Black]. In fact, with their skimpy buxom chick as their secret weapon [nod to Firefly's River Tam] it's as if someone took Heroes, Enterprise, Pitch Black, Firefly, Stargate and other assorted sci fi ideas and tossed it into a blender. The vibe is made all the more ridiculous by some silly long jacketed wardrobing for Trineer and company coupled with god awful dialogue and a weak script. As a result you get your serviceable sci fi survival yarn and a pay check for the actors we know and love.
Each survivor is essentially picked off one by one. I actually wrote this paragraph before it started happening that's how predictable we're talking. Heads are lopped off while people piss. You know how it goes. One of the best things about this movie is watching the sheer stupidity of its characters unravel before your very eyes. Characters literally have all of the facts at their disposal that they will die if they do A and it is clearly advisable that they should do B if they want to live. What is the best option then, do A anyway. What!? It's hilarious. My Boy Wonder happened to stumble into the room and said it best, "they're all really dumb."
Anyway as the story moves along Lee's character gets hacked up pretty good. We get your standard 'forget about me, save yourselves, I'll lay and die here while I clutch a grenade and take whatever of those bastards with me that I can' sacrificial lamb story for his friends. His sacrifice proved to me he truly was a hero after all [wink wink]. Meanwhile, the girl in the skimpy pink dress has all sorts of unbelievable superpowers speaking of heroes. She may have as job in Heroes Season Five. Everyone wants the girl, but not like that friends. The bugs have them on the run, the agents have them on the run and they just fire away, fire away and fire away. Those guns have to be red hot. The Boy Wonder watches and wonders, "don't they ever run out of ammo?" I reply "ya'd think." "Is this a good movie?" he inquires. "Not really." In the end there is a bit of a revenge tale and the girl with superpowers as a result of heavy radiation gets her final moment in the sun.
The characters run alot. They run and run and run [while they shoot]. They are also on a star of a sort. Apart from the celestial body, our actors are also stars. They are Star Runners! Oh and the enemy governmental ship in the movie also looks suspiciously like a pale imitation of the Battlestar Galactica. The effects aren't that good. So, you can do yourself a favor and run far away from this one. If you're sick and lying on the couch clutching a ginger ale then this might make you feel better.
Star Runners: C- [I like the space chick. Her bodaciousness saves this one from the D mark]