Starship Troopers 2 - Hero of the Federation (2004)

Director: Phil Tippett
Edition Details:
Region 2 encoding (Europe, Japan, South Africa and the Middle East including Egypt)
Running Time:
88 minutes
Soundtrack Language: English, Czech, Hungarian
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: Arabic, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Slovenian, Swedish, Turkish

DVD Features: Director, Writer and Producer commentary, From Green Screen to Silver Screen featurette, Inside the Federation featurette, Photo Gallery, Theatrical Trailer



Description: In this sequel to the cult favorite Starship Troopers, the Federation's best mobile infantry unit goes back into action against the Bug horde. But this time, the Bugs are waiting for them. Trapped on a remote outpost light years from the nearest reinforcements, a small group of soldiers fight an enemy smarter and more cunning than they've ever faced. Now they must join forces with an infamous traitor to the Federation if they are to have any hope. And it's not just their lives at stake, it's the survival of the human race. If they want to live, they'll have to use their heads before the bugs do. -

As long as you're not expecting a real sequel to the under-rated and misunderstood 1997 movie by Robocop director Paul Verhoeven, or anything remotely to do with the original Heinlein novel, this cheap sequel will make for some passable viewing. (It was so cheaply made that it was filmed on high-definition video instead of normal film stock.) In fact I found it much better than other recent straight-to-video fare such as Timecop 2 and Dragon Storm I had to endure. Then again, that's not saying much . . .

This time around, irony and big budget spectacle are ditched as a small group of soldiers fleeing alien enemy hordes find refuge in a remote fortified outpost. Unbeknownst to them however they had been infiltrated by soldiers being controlled by the alien bugs. Think Aliens meet The Thing and The Hidden, and you'll get the general idea. Little of the subversiveness of the original film makes it to the screen this time around and Starship Troopers 2 is more of a straight-forward SF horror flick than anything else.

It's not particular original or anything, but the cheap sets (both of them!) are effectively utilised and the unknown cast isn't too bad either. This is special effects legend Phil Tippet's directorial debut, and unlike most effects people turned director he does a passable job both with both the effects and the human cast. Tippett is best-known for his work on Jurassic Park and the original Starship Troopers, and while the low-budget effects here may not impress that much, they are not too shoddy at all.

Sure, this is a franchise that deserved better than being relegated to the small screen. However, as far as this sort of thing goes, Starship Troopers 2 isn't that bad. There are enough action, gore and nudity to appease horror fans and while the screenplay by original Starship Troopers scribe Ed Neumeier isn't all that good, the truth is that everybody involved in this project acquitted themselves quite well under the zero budget circumstances.

THE DISC: Some ?making of? promo features and director's commentaries. Also, trailers and a photo gallery. Not too bad.

WORTH IT? Better than most critics made it out to be: just don't think of this as a sequel to Starship Troopers, but rather as straight-to-video fodder. Once you've made that mental shift, then Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation will make a neat double bill along with something like Returner . . .

RECOMMENDATION: Rent it as an evening's undemanding viewing.



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