Starship Troopers 2 - Hero Of The Federation [DVD]
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In this sequel to the cult favourite '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 and they are smarter and more cunning then ever. To stop the Bugs from destroying the rest of mankind, a group of soldiers trapped by the creepy-crawlies, realise that they must team up with an infamous traitor in order to save the world...
Allowing for all the low-budget shortcomings that plague any straight-to-video production, Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation serves up 92 minutes of passable SF action. Parlaying his veteran status as an animator, special-effects wizard, and stalwart survivor of the CGI revolution, Phil Tippett (with returning screenwriter Ed Neumeier) makes a woefully uninspired directorial debut with this makeshift sequel to Paul Verhoeven's 1997 blockbuster, retaining the jarhead militarism of Robert Heinlein's original novel while serving up more bugs, an all-new cast of attractive young stars and all-too-familiar plot elements borrowed from a dozen better movies.
"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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
But that aside, there's no scope to this film. The action battles are limited, probably due to budget reasons, and amount to no more than people shooting guns at the screen. The storyline in the first one wasn't exactly the main reason for watching it, but this time round it's even worse.
Holed up on a planet waiting for pick up ships, a squad of soldiers wait in a hastily converted base, as the bugs close in. That's it.
Acting wise, this is truly shocking, with no big names cast. But for the style of film being made, budget acting suits a budget film. There is some nudity, but, as a fellow reviewer stated it was, it is hardly pornographic, nor exciting.
What gives the film it's high rating is that come the finale, it gets quite bloody and gory. And I have to admit, that some of the action scenes towards the end picked up slightly, but not enough to make up for the dull previous hour.
The only other plus point was that some of the bug effects were pretty good, and that's probably where most of the films budget went. The CGI was quite detailed, and fast, however, as the bugs were hardly in the movie at all, that is another disappointment.
But points largely to Writer Ed Neumeier who found a magnificent way around the film’s minimalist budget. The story’s been kept almost claustrophobic and rarely goes beyond one or two backdrops. In addition, everything’s kept super tight – story, duration, the works. A wise move indeed.
Granted, there are disadvantages with working with a low budget and the film being a direct to video title. It would’ve been good to have seen some of the main faces from the first film make appearances, (but if an overhaul was the order of the day, then Richard Burgi [“24”, “The Sentinel”] and company make welcome enough stand-ins) and those bug’s, while good, don’t look as nifty as they did first time around.
Just not so long between drinks next time, hey?
After the tremendous success of Paul Verhoeven's 1997 STARSHIP TROOPERS comes the 2004 direct-to-video sequel HERO OF THE FEDERATION, predictably nowhere as good as the original cult film. It was shot on a budget of roughly 5% of the original.
While it does have its merits (Richard Burgi as an anti hero Captain, two good female leads: Colleen Porch and Brenda Strong as well as Ed Lauter, and a really well-shot and dark beginning), then the film's story shifts into utter ridiculousness and boredom half-way through when it copies INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. Seriously, this is all they could come up with? And what a way to reck the film!
SFX are well done, bloody and gory, as one would expect from STARSHIP TROOPERS, yet this is not enough to keep one glued to the seat. The original's satire is absent for most of the time, however, reserved only for brief "cameos" at the beginning and end and rather poorly executed.
Definitely not a must-see. Stick with the original and skip the sequels.
Audio: English 5.1, Czech 5.1, Hungarian 5.1
Subtitles: English, English HoH (+14)
Runtime: 87:52 mins.
Video Quality: 3/5
Audio Quality: 3/5
MOVIE RATING: 2/5
STARSHIP TROOPERS 2 is average in video and audio, mostly because it was cheaply shot with a low budget, but the DVD is loaded with extras a-plenty: a full length audio commentary, approx. 40 mins. of featurettes, a photo gallery and trailers.
Let's face it, if this film wasnt called Starship Troopers 2 and was titled Space Bug or something equally B-movie-esque, it would be happily accepted as exactly what it is: a cheap, visually inventive sci-fi schlock fest in the mould of Inseminoid or something similar. I can only imagine that people who give this film lousy reviews either a) expected far too much for a straight-to-video sequel to an admittedly kick-ass original, or b) arent big fans of cheesy splatter horror.
Kudos to Tippett for keeping the arch-fascist subtexts... the final montage of death and glory propaganda (juxtaposed with the most incompetent recruiting officer imagineable in the last scene), and the Mobile Infantry opening, are strangely uplifting in a worrying kind of way. That's probably Neumeier's point: how easy it is for propaganda to seduce people (as easy as it is for a pretty young blonde thing to seduce any male in her path).
Good rousing orchestral soundtrack, and a good use of CGI. The bugs look as good as they did in the movie. Other reviewers have complained about the tight framing and relentless close-ups, which actually aren't any different to what we're used to seeing on TV shows. Don't you get it, people?Read more ›
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