Starship Troopers: Invasion [Blu-ray] (2012)

Actors: Leraldo Anzaldua, Luci Christian, Melissa Davis, Justin Doran, David Matranga
Director: Shinji Aramaki
Format: AC-3, Animated, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: English
Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, Korean
Region: All Regions
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: August 28, 2012
Run Time: 89 minutes



The computer game aesthetics of this CG animated flick by the director of Appleseed extend beyond the visuals. It doesn’t only look like a videogame cutscene (those video bits in-between the action in computer games) extended to a feature film’s length, but it also feels like it because the characters act like, well, characters in a videogame and not like they would in real life or, heck, even other movies.

Starship Troopers: Invasion is ostensibly a sequel set years after the events in the first Paul Verhoeven movie (Casper van Dien’s Johnnie Rico character is now a general!), but it has less in common with the Verhoeven movie or even the 1959 Robert Heinlein novel than any generic space videogame in which the characters prance about in high-tech body armor and advanced mecha suits. Any hint of irony – what made Verhoeven’s funny “fascists in space” movie so memorable - is also jettisoned as the characters spout hammy videogame dialogue. Some scenes are in fact so unintentionally OTT campy that they’ll make you roll your eyes.

The plot involves a group of Federation troopers having to stop a spaceship filled to the brim with so-called “Bugs” – an arachnoid species that serve as cannon fodder for our one-dimensional heroes - from reaching the Earth. Plot holes abound. In Heinlein’s original novel the so-called Bugs were an intelligent specie with particle beam weapons and spacecraft. Here – and to be fair the previous movies as well - they are just dumb Alien-like creatures with no technology at all. (It is a bit difficult to build and commandeer spaceships without any opposable thumbs after all.)

At the beginning of the story we see a space station located on an asteroid being overrun by hordes of Bugs. Later on we are informed that “Bugs can’t fly spaceships.” Then how did they get aboard that asteroid in the first place then?

The animation is okay-ish, but some of the human figures’ faces reminded me a bit of this guy to be honest.

WORTH IT? Once you jettison any hope of this being a real sequel to the 1997 movie or the Heinlein novel – after all, take away the Bug alien designs s from the storyline and you have a generic space actioner – then Starship Troopers: Invasion is a passable brain-dead way to kill an hour and a half.

RECOMMENDATION: If you want Verhoeven’s irony and humor, then forget about it: this is about as irony-free as you’d get. If you want your movies to be more like computer games with non-stop action and flat characters spouting videogame clichés, then this is for you.



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