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"Bigger is better" is out of the question under such meagre budgetary circumstances, so Tippett and Neumeier compensate with gruesome bug fights and gross-out effects at regular intervals, some standard-issue nudity and escalating paranoia (echoing Carpenter's The Thing) when a new breed of bugs use human hosts (à la The Hidden) to overtake a stranded platoon of Federation soldiers on a bug-infested planet. Relying on murky confinement to hide nondescript sets, Starship Troopers 2 has three engaging leads in its favour: US TV regular Richard Burgi is solidly cast as the titular hero (he's the military equivalent of Pitch Black's Riddick); Colleen Porch is engaging as the most sensible Federation survivor; and screen veteran Ed Lauter makes the most of his salty role as a battle-hardened general. Unfortunately, they're adrift in a knock-off sequel (shot on high-def digital video) that could never do justice to its energetic predecessor. --Jeff Shannon