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on 29 September 2008
While I thoroughly enjoyed the first in this trilogy, the second was a bitter disappointment. After seeing the adverts for this while channel surfing it began to look like the writers for Starship Troopers knew they'd made an appalling film second time around and made a stab at creating a worthy sequel to the original.

Starship Troopers 3: Marauder was dreadful from start to finish. Granted, it cannot be denied the fact that they had done a respectable job with the budget they had, they really should have waited until they had the funds. It was not only the barbarically terrible acting, cheesy one-liners and cardboard animations on the bugs but the overall story did not do the Starship Troopers franchise any good.

Without giving away too much of the story for those who are brave enough to buy this and sit right through from beginning to end (as I did, confident it was going to get better) I will go through some of the things that were either annoying, unnecessary or just plain wrong.

First, the guns. In the original they were slightly larger than a standard issue assault rifle which was explained by the creators as the machine guns housing advanced computers and cooling systems, which is fair enough. In ST3, they look to be a little over 1 metre in length. They don't seem to be capable of doing anything more than shooting bullets, lobbing grenades or acting as a pathetically weak flashlight. So why are they so big?

Secondly, the action. I counted, there are only 3 scenes in the whole movie in which some characters fight a hoard of bugs. This is not acceptable. This movie focuses too much on the political side of this futuristic world, showing us several hangings (which made me deeply uncomfortable and slightly sick) that did not seem to advance the plot in any way shape or form. The final scene in which there is a barely acceptable amount of action contains the long-awaited Power Armour that was featured heavily in the original novel by Robert A. Heinlein in 1959. This scene lasts only a few minutes, so it is over before you have a chance to really get into it. To add insult to injury, the mechanical marvels they wear to fight the bugs seem severely underpowered and the awkward camera angles fail to do them any further justice.

Thirdly, the Q-Bomb. Capable of destroying an entire planet, I was eagerly anticipating what seemed to be the highlight of this god awful movie. When it is fired at the very end, the badly animated explosion is blocked by an overly-ambitious kiss by two key characters, so I was almost crushed by my own disappointment.

Fourth, religion. This almost seems like a propaganda film put out by the church of Christianity. Heavily referenced, God is said to have been the one to wipe the bugs off the planet featured this time around, not the seven heavily armed marines or the Q-Bomb. I have nothing against religion, I want to make that as clear as day, people can believe what they want and I'm fine with that, but to put it in a science fiction film is unacceptable. It seems the sole purpose of this film is not to entertain, but to convert.

Fifth, the bugs themselves. The original movie showed off animations that was ahead of its time. This film, however, incorporates what looks like the use of puppets and animatronics for the close-ups and upsettingly recycled animation for distant walk cycles. The original (comparing again) shows bugs fighting amongst themselves during an apparent migration, but this time, the animations are flat and the bugs too friendly to one and other. The new and interesting bug that was featured, named the `Scorpion' (resembling one, but in place of a stinger is a plasma cannon) is shrouded in shadow, so you don't even get a good look at it and is on camera for less than a minute.

Lastly, the characters. I didn't care about any of them and more often than not found myself hoping that several key characters died by the hands (or jaws, whatever) of a warrior bug or something, just to add some action to the bland scenes of a group of stranded, emotionless people make their way across the surface of a calm, happy looking planet with guns larger than a human leg.

This film is dreadful and it is beyond me why it received near universal applause. If ever another Starship Troopers film comes out, I will be the first to buy it, because I am absolutely positive that one day there will be one worthy to call Starship Troopers: The Official Sequel. I love this franchise, but it only goes as far as the original novel (which I urge people to purchase) and the first movie.
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on 21 February 2018
The first movie was a lot of fun. The second film is a horrible the thing/body snatchers rip off with the Starship Troopers name slapped on so people would actually watch it, so saying the third movie is an improvement on the second isn’t much of a complement. A great sequel to the first movie needed a big budget, a good script and Paul Verhoeven directing. None of these things are present.
The script feels like two weak ideas awkwardly stuck together.The opening act, set in a military base, has a poorly scripted bar scene followed by an action set piece featuring unacceptably abysmal CGI which is horrible to look at and reminds me of Sharknado. 30 minutes in, were introduced to a bunch of thinly drawn annoying new character for a boring Tremors inspired horror piece where you don’t care about any of it and builds to a laughable confrontation climax which seriously made me wonder what I was watching, followed by another painful CGI action piece. Things get so desperate that one of the guys asks a woman he’s shared two words with prior to marry him. She accepts so we care about this deep romance when one of them is in peril-it’s just pathetic. The script also tried to emulate the first one in satire, this time with a ham fisted religious discussions but it’s like reading a 10 year olds R.E. homework and doesn’t work at all.
Edward Neumeier [who wrote the live action trilogy] makes his directing debut here, and is out of his depth. Bluntly, the direction is atrocious, with plenty of bad acting [especially Cécile Breccia and Marnette Patterson] and bad staging [such as the spaceship crash]. The newsreels in the original were played straight, but these are too campy and don’t work nearly as well. Jolene Blalock [Star Trek Enterprise] needs to carry the ‘tremors’ section but is hampered by poor dialogue.
Was there anything I liked? Well Casper Van Dien returns as Johnny Rico and I liked how he’s more of a Richard Sharpe character here [‘all I do is kill bugs’], but after the opening section, he only rarely shows up. The b-plot with Amanda Donohoe [Liar Liar] political scheming and the peace protesters is somewhat intriguing [helped by not needing CGI] but are underdeveloped. The music number [‘a good day to die’] is gloriously perverse. But it’s just a sad waste of time.
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on 18 May 2014
The first thing to say is that this film is only of interest to fans of the first film. If you didn't like that one why are you still here? Off you go now. Bye bye.

For anyone left this is a stupidly enjoyable cheesy mess of a b-movie. It's more of a true sequel to the first as the satire and propaganda adverts return along with Casper Van Dien. It really tries to capture to feel of the original. This isn't entirely successful, however, and the subtlety of the satire in the first film is turned into an ideological headbutt. Now I wouldn't say the satire in the first film was subtle but I'm always suprised by how many people missed it completely and thought it was a totally serious fascistic action film. Either way in this second sequel it borders on slapstick at times. Personally I found it frequently hilarious and for me the was the film's saving grace. This movie knows it's ridiculous and plays up to it.

Apart from that the acting ranges from cheesy to pant wettingly terrible. Scenery chewing is standard here.

The cgi effects are laughable. The bugs vs mecha battle looks like a playstation 1 era FMV, but a pretty enjoyable one all the same. The practical effects on the other hand are sometimes pretty good.

The bit that a lot of viewers take issue with is the use of religion, especially toward the end. It seemed pretty clear to me that the film was NOT taking a pro-christian stance but rather satirising the co-option of religion as means of control, propaganda and also the ability of people to interpret anything as a religious miracle. I find it difficult to believe that people could have interpreted this as trying to ram christianity down the viewers throat, but clearly many have. So I would say that this element is at least open to interpretation. This is made more confusing by the commentaries in the special features that offer nothing concrete with regards to the writers intentions.

And this is where the dilemma begins. Without knowing the intentions of the writer I can only comment on my interpretation of the film as tongue in cheek, knowingly cheesy that is almost never serious. If I'm right then this film is a hoot for fans of the original and bad movie fans in general. If I'm wrong then this is a whole other kind of horrendous.
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on 19 November 2014
Much better than the turgid second film and an entertaining send-up of fundamentalism. Clearly more concerned with trying to get a rise out of the religious right than functioning as a sci-fi, it is well worth a watch for anyone who doesn't think that man was made out of clay 12,000 years ago by a bearded man in the sky who doesn't approve of 'Adam and Steve"
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on 8 August 2009
To start off with I will give this a 3 and a half star/ It was great but wasn't bad far from it.

First off don't expect nothing or you will be disappointed. But it was enjoyably as the main characters where so cheesy and child like it was unreal to believe they ever got into the military.

Good points - This was a funny action sci-fi, hot babes, humor, action, big Guns and adv.equipment and alright story line to it. I'm happy to own this dvd. Oh and good themes music to the film too lol.

Bad points - Well more could be done with this film and to be fair they keep doing sequels but everyone still not happy that there anything like the 1st film. The film is not be taken seriously at all so your looking for realism look else where as this film is not for you.

Over all - If you looking to watch any old sci-fi with hot babes and things going boom with a tad humor too in it, then this is fine for you. All in all I enjoyed it as a past time and thought it was worth 4 quid :)
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on 13 March 2009
As a big fan of the first film, when I heard about this second sequel I was looking forward to seeing it if only to see if it was better than the atrocious attempt that was Starship Troopers 2.
On the whole, it is definitely better than the second film, but nowhere near as good as the first. There are a few issues that cause this:

1. Religion. Now, similarly to my fellow reviewer, I want to stress that I have nothing against religious people. It is a personal choice to believe whatever you want to and what makes your life easier. This being said, to someone who thinks that religion is more a work of fiction than this film, I absolutely HATE being preached to, it makes me genuinely angry. Due to this, the ongoing theme of religion during this film really got on my nerves as it was constantly being thrust down my throat for the full hour and a half. I realise that this was a major part of the plot but it nearly turned me off the entire film.

2. The animation is laughably bad compared to the original and really highlights that the budget was very low. This is not a major gripe however and can easily be tolerated.

3. The lack of fighting. For those of us who loved the first film, we were expecting a lot more in terms of major battles. This film only offers a few and non of these were on the same scale as those in the first film. On a similar theme, there is one thing that irritated me in the first film that is back for this one: there is no consistency in how easily the basic bugs are killed. One of them could take 5 troopers firing full blast at it for 5 minutes in order to put it down and then a minute later all it takes is one trooper with two shots! Now, this could be due to better aiming by this one trooper but it just looks stupid on screen!

For all these negatives, there are still some positives. There are the old familiar adverts from the federation which we all loved from the first film and the cheesy, almost bad but not quite acting from the original has been revived, which works quite well.

In conclusion, this film is worth a watch if you liked the first one and it is definitely a better offering than the second film. Just be aware that if you have any strong feelings about religion you will either like or be hugely irritated by this aspect of the story.
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VINE VOICEon 18 October 2008
**** spoilers ****

Whilst Starship Troopers 2 had its moments, its lack of scope doomed it to pale into insignificance compared with the stunning original movie. This third helping has a look and feel far more like the first movie and I for one enjoyed it very much.

Great to have Casper Van Dien back as the iconic Johnny Rico and, spookily, not looking a day older (has he got a holographic picture of himself looking old and gnarly up in his attic somewhere?). No-one can impart so much into the one word OUTSTANDING as Casper! The eye-candy for us blokes is mainly courtesy of the stunningly beautiful Marnette Patterson as the naive but gutsy Holly Little (more on her later), French actress Cécile Breccia as the rather intense lieutenant Link Manion (who gets the movie's corniest line - "I like my bugs fried in the morning") and, of course, that woman from Enterprise with the funny lips.

Onto the plot; humans suffer an ignoble defeat, leaving a handful of survivors, including one VIP, forced to yomp across a desert planet crawling with bugs. Rico leads a crack team equipped with the latest technology - the Marauder (think Battletech), in a rescue attempt. Doesn't sound like much does it? But that's not the point. The fairly flimsy plot serves admirably as a frame on which to hang some stunning action scenarios and to develop a bitter, cynical political ethos. From the opening battle on frontier planet Roku San, to the drama on the incongruously beautiful desertscape of OM-1, the movie provides entertaining adrenaline-filled thrills for most of the time. Then there are the myriad sub-plots - the conflicting emotions between friendship and duty displayed by General Dix, the subversion of the Sky Marshall, the ruthless ambition of Admiral Phid and, of course, the cynical manipulation of religion. The latter may upset those of a particularly devout persuasion, but the touching faith and stoicism of Holly Little engineers a kind of victory in the end.

For me though, the film works best at stirring dissonant emotions amongst the viewer. We are supposed to be rooting for the humans aren't we? And yet the Federation is brutally totalitarian, even executing peace protestors. Its leaders are Mau/Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot all rolled into one. This seeming incongruity along with the overriding message throughout that social responsibility entails individual sacrifice is pretty much in keeping with Robert Heinlein's original sci-fi novel.

The DVD presentation includes exceptionally good surround sound (especially during those battle scenes) and is decently furnished with extra features.

I am a little surprised at the very negative reviews. OK so SS3 isn't quite Oscar-material, but I still found it extremely entertaining. There's certainly life in this franchise yet!
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on 2 October 2008
This movie is one of the present crop of new movies made especially for the `Straight-to-DVD and Blue Ray' market, the studios no doubt having realized they can by-pass the millions they would have to spend when launching a picture in cinemas. It used to be the case that a movie would be released straight to video or DVD only if it was deemed to be of a quality not satisfactory to be released in theatres. But these days, with roughly 7 years of revenue and research statistics available, studios are increasingly finding that the medium of DVD can often reap far higher financial rewards than the cinemas, and are therefore commissioning movies to be made especially for that medium, often with fairly creditable results. The DVD market is also more accessible to the consumer; it being far easier to pop down to your local HMV than it is to hike to the ends of earth to find a screening of the latest obscure little film you wish to see!

Ed Neumeier, the screenwriter behind Robocop and the first Starship Troopers movie makes his directorial debut with this third installment in the `Grunts Vs Bugs' science fiction war satire. The war between humanity and the relentless arachnids has raged for years, and the Earth government, increasingly reliant on the continuation of the conflict, have opened up new fronts in the war across several star systems, and stepped up the propaganda campaign to even more extreme levels. Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien), now a colonel, returns to the fold as the lead character in this picture after being absent from the last movie. The action begins on the dusty industrial planet Roko San with Rico and his hapless grunts defending an outpost populated by groups of resentful farmers and agricultural workers. Its business as usual on the colony as bugs swarm everywhere, while the outpost receives a visit from acclaimed Sky Marshall Omar Anoke (Stephen Hogan) accompanied by a former friend of Rico's Dix Hauser (Boris Kodjoe), and what might possibly be an old flame Captain Lola Beck (Jolene Blalock - the Vulcan from TV's Star Trek Enterprise). After the initial skirmish at the colony during which Rico has to stand up against not only the bugs, but the bureaucratic stupidity of the Earth government, the visiting party reboard their shuttle and begin to head home before being attacked mid-flight and forced to crash land on a remote desert world. The survivors are left with the unenviable task of trekking across the bug infested planet, with their Sky Marshall behaving increasingly erratic and creepily religious as times goes on. Rico, after a mock-execution trial on charges of sedition, is ordered to proceed to said planet and recover the survivors.

Put away your skepticism, this is great fun! The production, on an obviously limited budget has done a great job. Ed Neumeier has put in significant thought to developing an intelligent, thoughtful and enjoyably satirical script - the propaganda news reports are a hoot! The action too is well-staged, the special effects and set design all looking suitably polished and futuristic - resembling a big budget version of Babylon 5. The director also happily shoe-horns in a moment of gratuitous nudity, as a team of new recruits is introduced to some new military combat technology, and it all seems wonderfully commonplace!

Fans of David Twohy's Pitch Black may find something to complain about; as some of the scenery and landscapes of the desert planet do resemble that movie's setting, but this is only a small criticism. From watching the standard `making-of' featurettes included on the DVD, you can tell that everyone working on the production had a great time. All the principals; from the director and the cast and crew are over-flowing with enthusiasm for the project, and obviously very keen for the franchise to continue. Rumour has it that Neumeier and Van Dien are working on either another Starship Troopers DVD/Blue Ray movie or a possible TV series.

Any fan of pulp sci-fi B-movies should immediately add Starship Troopers 3: Marauder to their DVD collection. "See you on the Bounce, Trooper"!!
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on 19 May 2009
I so wanted to like this movie - im a fan of the original and didnt mind the second one although it was no patch on the 1st.

having read some half decent reviews on here i thought it give it a go and i settled in one night for what i was hoping was a 'guilty pleasure' night.

Unfortunately i was massively let down by it - I understand it has a small budget and limited production resources ie sets, CGI etc but it just felt like a cheap copy - it like eating heinz tomato soup then going for the supermarkets 9 pence own brand and you realise no matter how much you might want this bowl of soup - it really is just a cheap imitation.

There are some almost embarassingly bad bug scenes - esp the one where they break into the compound and chase the soldiers along the trenches - they look like they are puppets on sticks being bobbed up and down at the back. (they might well have been actually - i dont know)

the plot is ludicrously thin - the whole film really could have been over in 15 minutes. the whole film was really what a bigger better one would have as a sub plot.

in order to flesh out thwe film some of the scenes are agonisingly drawn-out. The fight in the bar goes on for too long - the crash landing on the sandy planet goes on forever without really proving or adding anything to the plot - and the final scenes with the big bug was testing my patience and the whole idea was really ridiculous - i was wondeirng how the actors managed to keep straight faces half the time....and the bit with the mauraders was a let down too.

yes it doen have thos nazi style propaganda adverts and some good cheesy dialogue - but overall i really wanted to enjoy a good cheese fest, but i was pretty bored all the way through.

Personally i'd say its on a par with the second one - but at least the second one was allowing itself to be a little bit different. The 2nd kept my attention more - and this one, despite its similarities to the original just leaves you wishing they hadnt have done it or at least tried to something a little bit different.
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on 28 October 2009
This is one of the movie productions, where I couldn't help but ask myself "What went wrong?". The Making of featurette reveals what seems to be an over-enthusiastic Caspar van Diem and a mildly passionate production effort that however doesn't reflect in the finished product.

The characters remain two-dimensional, CGI effects are the worst I have seen in recent years (I'm certain it shows on the DVD but it's definitely worse in HD) and the story events are incredibly predictable. I felt the movie to be less gory than # 2 but basically it's a unimaginative "shoot 'em up" flick which at times is rather unbearable to watch, mind enjoy. The filmmakers, just like the characters in the plot, have no idea about Christianity and merely use it as an object of mocking religion (welcome to the H.G. Wells fan club, spear-headed by R. Emmerich)

Where the movie nevertheless exceeds its precessors is the satirical portrayal of this future, fascist, post-1984 Orwellian nightmare of mankind's society: A singing Sky Marshal whith pop star attributes (hilarious!) and the eventual re-discovery and political abuse of religion by an atheist totalitarian society on the brink of defeat, which echoes Germany near the end of WWII where the population was indoctrinated to believe in wonders and miracles to hold fast.
It's these dystopian elements that are worth taking a look at, IMHO, hence I feel it's okay to cast two stars.
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