Not too many movies that I’ve seen end up being so horrendous on so many fronts that it forces me to share my experience with others. About thirty minutes in to this movie I actually had to turn it off and would have nearly given up on it, but I felt compelled to continue to watch this train wreck in order to write this review.
I truly enjoyed the first Starship Troopers. So much in fact, that I’ve watched it several times. I had no clue that there was even a sequel made of the first. After doing some preliminary research to see if I should even add it to my Netflix que, the majority of the opinions said not to bother. Starship Troopers 3 was a different story though. Plenty of good reviews and recommendations. At this point, I’m not entirely sure what they were watching.
Everything about this movie was complete and utter crap except for one small moment. That moment was a short nude scene where the troopers for some unknown reason had to completely disrobe to have their bodies scanned so they could be integrated with a ‘Mechwarrior’ type of robot suit.
Now that we got the positives out of the way, let the bashfest begin.
I mistakenly thought since they brought back Johnny Rico (he was left out of the second) that there was significant potential for the movie to turn out well. Not true, even in the remotest sense. Our simple squad leader, Johnny Rico, is now a full fledged colonel. At least for a short period of time anyway. His role, just as everyone else’s, was very poorly scripted. Instead of being the unsure of himself, new to the military type of personality he was scripted as being this overbearing, supreme military leader.
The military reference was so overly done, it was sickening. The “officer on deck”, “today is a good day to die” and so on and so on were repeated every five minutes or so. That’s just the start of the poor scripting. In Starship Troopers 3 there are citizen protesters now. However, anyone that even speaks poorly of the Federation is simply put to death via hanging and no one, I mean no one, is exempt.
Early on in the movie we're introduced to one of Johnny Rico’s alleged friends, General Dick. There’s a bar scene where a couple of farmers that aren’t happy with the war express their frustrations. General Dick bites off more than he can chew. His friend Johnny Rico steps in to help him but is ordered to stand down. The good general is finally rescued but with hurt pride. He orders the farmers AND Rico to be taken in to custody and hung. Eventually things turn to crap and guess what…they need Rico. Rico’s televised hanging is ‘faked’. The two other poor souls are hung and killed. Rico’s rope gives way and he lands on the floor where he is greeted by General Dick who informs him of his new role. Not quite sure how the people watching that hanging wouldn’t figure out something went wrong, but I digress.
A huge brain bug is located on this planet with the help of a Sky Marshall that was mesmerized by the original brain bug Rico helped capture. This new brain bug is so big he ends up being part of a planet which is destroyed in order to kill him and (hopefully) anymore ideas for another sequel.
The acting of everyone in the entire movie was so substandard I thought perhaps high school kids were given a crack at being in a Hollywood movie. There is a scene near the finale where two soldiers think they’re near their end and start praying the ‘Our Father’ over and over and over again. All the while their faces are being overlapped on a scene of Rico and commandos wiping out bugs in their new fancy robot suits.
The CGI was completely laughable. There were obvious signs of a green screen being used. In most films, while you might suspect a green screen, you really can’t tell. In Starship Troopers 3 there was no question it was in use. The other special effects were just as bad. Flames from flame throwers and gunfire looked like there was minimal effort put in to making them look even close to decent.
From acting, to scripting, to CGI, to storyline, Starship Troopers 3 took a right step by going direct to video, but it should have went straight to the garbage can.
"Starship Troopers 3: Marauder" opens August 5, 2008 and is rated PG13. Action, Sci-Fi. Written and directed by Edward Neumeier. Starring Casper Van Dien, Jolene Blalock.