Jul 19, 2008

Starship Troopers 3: Marauder

How exactly does one recover a film from the bowels of hell in the form of a second sequel to the classic cult film Starship Troopers. The original, being created from a book by a master of science fiction, was directed by Paul Verhoeven - a director who has had his share of arthouse and campy cult films. This time around, they attempted to re-create the feeling of the original with the satirical infomercials and bringing back the only good role Casper Van Dian had; Johnny Rico.

Johnny Rico finds him self facing some terrorist charges after some plushie bugs attacked a secure base and he punched a general. While being court marshaled, he finds himself being pulled from his execution in order to take a mech team to a bug planet featuring a couple twists here and there while displaying horrific CGI and props. I mean, look at these fucking "weapons." They handle as if they were made from styrofoam.

One thing movie studios don't realize. CGI isn't the only option here. Films like T2: Judgment Day wowed audiences with its view of a post-apocalyptic landscape. In this film, they took the lo-carb route to creating bugs and planets. They could have used ole' fashioned effects wizardry, but stuck with the hellacious more expensive routine and in the end, slaughters what was good about the film, and trust me, it needs everything it can get.

Johnny Rico's character seems too forced and lost everything that was fun about him. It's understandable though. The fresh out of school rebel teen "sticking it to his parents" signs up for Mobile Infantry and gets in a ragtag squadron of flunkies who decide to squash bugs and have good times. This Johnny Rico is a combat-bred machine who sucks at doing that as well.

Supporting cast is a group of females who are not ordained priests but that doesn't stop them from forcing religion down your throat. The females have several roles in the film, ranging from the sniveling rat to the virginal christian, and to the "bad ass heroine." Almost makes me sick; Thank god there was two seconds of female nudity or I would have been pissed.

What starts off as moderately entertaining turns into mindless drivel as soon as it hits its peak. I loved the twist, and I loved the "final boss" of the film. The effects were definitely amazing there. That might have been the reason for the all-around shitty production. They blew their budget on a Lovecraftian bug monster that shines with influences of his Cthulhu mythos.

When the shit really hits the fan is about an hour and half in, the film stops on a dime and starts pursuing some bastard mission to convert every viewing audience member into a follower of God. A group of descending mechs highlights a halo over the Virgin Mary-esque female on the evil bug planet. Led by Rico, the messianic robot suits fry all of the planets inhabitants. After all, they were only living on their home planet.

Starship Troopers 3: Marauder is vastly superior to the middleman. With a bit o' blood and PG-13 tits, this might entertain the simple-minded fans of the original, or the commentary directed towards the Middle Eastern war might suit the intellectual, but none the less, the religious propaganda will piss you off. A moderate war-in-space film.


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