Sorry, I’ve been MIA again – so many things happened these past few days, and I just couldn’t get to the blog. But now I’m back to write about the second to last film for the 30 Day Challenge!
The 29th film in the challenge is the Chinese movie Running Man. I know some of you are probably scratching your head – isn’t Running Man a Korean TV show? Why is there a Chinese movie with the same title? Yes, Running Man is technically a Korean variety show, but China recently bought the rights to make a Chinese spinoff. The spinoff did so well on TV and attracted a huge fan base in China that the show’s crew decided to make a movie.
For those familiar with the show, the movie Running Man is just like any episode from the series that happens to be labeled as a movie instead. Like the average episode, the movie has a series of “missions” that the show’s six hosts must complete along with their guests, all of whom are famous Chinese celebrities. These missions are all tied to a central plot line that moves the games along. For the movie, the general plot is that of the hosts and guests, there is one person who has come to silently destroy everyone. To figure out who that person is, the rest of the hosts and guests must succeed at the various missions to get a clue; however, the “villainous” member will try to subtly prevent them from winning the games to protect his/her identity. Ultimately, everything comes down to the “name-tag” game – each host and guest member has a name tag on their back, and if that name tag is pulled off, the bearer of that tag is eliminated from the game. All of the hosts and guests must protect their own backs against the villainous member while searching for additional clues on that person’s identity. If someone thinks they know who the villain is, they can report it, but if the wrong person is reported, the reporter will be eliminated from the game. The goal is to correctly report and eliminate the villainous member before he/she eliminates everyone else by ripping off their name tags.
Running Man the movie was a bit of a disappointment because it merely felt like any other episode from the show – there wasn’t anything special about it that made it a movie. In fact, there were definitely episodes from the show that were more exciting and clever. Also, the premise of someone being a secret killer has been used multiple times in episodes from both the Korean and Chinese versions of the show, so using it in the movie felt recycled and boring. There was also little humor in the film, which runs contrary to the series’ character, which is filled with outrageously funny moments (it is a variety show after all).
One plus to the movie was the appearance of Kim Jong Kook, one of the hosts from the Korean version of Running Man. He was one of the guests in the film, and it was fun to see one of the hosts from the original Running Man show appear in the Chinese movie.
Overall, the movie felt like a mere money-making scheme to get Running Man fans to pay for an episode of the show in theaters. Just watch an episode of the show on China’s Running Man’s official YouTube if you’re interested – it’s probably more interesting than the movie and also for free.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Title: Running Man
Director: Jia Hua Xue, Hu Jia Yi, Junyi Cen
Cast: Angelababy, Wang Bao Qiang, Zheng Kai, Li Chen, Kim Jong Kook, Wang Zu Lan, Chen He, Lynn Hung, Guo Jingfei, Sie Yi-Lin, Eleven
Run time: 1 hr 28 min