Star Runner

“Star Runner” follows the highschool student Bond, whose real passion lies in boxing. He trains in a local gym, hoping to be a part of the team to join the Star Runner fight competition. When his new teacher turns out to be a good looking young woman he immediately falls in love with her. Her desire to know more about, and perhaps help, this young student, turns into something else. The two start to date, despite the gossip that follows.

When Bond is cheated out of his spot in the competition, he quits the team, but finds an unexpected new trainer. With him he learns some new techniques, and enters the Star Runner competitions on his own.

Meanwhile he struggles to make sense of his relationship with Kim, as the big final fight against last years champion Tank grows ever nearer...


Imagine “Dirty Dancing”, with kickboxing instead of dancing, and then you have some idea of what a strange creature this film is.

The story is pretty straightforward, but the first half of the film is quite fragmented, as if the filmmakers decided to cut out some of the touchy feely stuff to get a little quicker to the second and more fight heavy half of the film.

There’s also some strange comic aspects that doesn’t fit too well with the tender drama, and the violent fights, leaving you to wonder just what the hell kind of film this really is.

But I must admit that despite it’s shortcomings, the film gradually grew on me, and in the end I just had to give in. During the final fight I was jumping up and down on the couch.

The technical aspects of the film would have been enough to keep me entertained. The soundtrack is fantastic, and the cinematography is stunning. Great use of backlighting results in some beautiful fight and training sequences.

Then there’s the choreography of the fight scenes. In the Star Runner competition any kind of martial art goes - and wrestling too. The camera moves energetically around during the various fights. I dare you not to be exited when the fighters go at it!

“Star Runner” peaks at exactly the right time, and though the final moments seemed a bit rushed to me, the film still left me deeply satisfied. However, I should probably note that when I saw this film I had already seen the trailer several times, and knew the great stuff that was waiting at the end, which meant that I probably gave it more chances than it deserved.

Director Daniel Lee also made the equally satisfying “A Fighter’s Blues” with Andy Lau, which is also highly recommended.
David Bjerre
March 14, 2004

Original Title
Siu Nin A Foo
South Korea
Daniel Lee
- Black Mask (1996)
- A Fighter's Blues (2000)
Vanness Wu
- This is his first film
Kim Hyun-joo
- This is her first film
Andy On
- Black Mask II (2001)
- Looking for Mr. Perfect (2003)
DVD Availability
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