STARSHIP TROOPERS 3: MARAUDER
105 minutes approx
Jonny Rico -
Casper Van Dien
Lola Beck -
Dix Hauser -
Omar Anoke -
Holly Little -
Bull Brittles -
Enolo Phid -
Written by -
Directed by -
The war against the bugs has been going for a while now and it isn't going all that well. The general populace is beginning to get impatient and uneasy. The repressive government is running a never-ending media campaign to maintain flagging support and the measures that the security forces are having to resort to in order to keep the people in line is growing ever harsher. Thank goodness, then, for Sky Marshal Omar Anoke who is brilliant, charismatic and sings a mean top of the charts song. On an inspection tour of a frontline world, however, he is caught up in a battle when the defences go down and the bugs pour in. He is saved by a combination of courageous troops, but his ship is shot down on a distant bug planet. Whilst he and a small group of survivors attempt to stay alive, disgraced Colonel Johnny Rico is drafted in to take command of a small elite force tasked with taking a new, untested weapon, into the field in order to get the Sky Marshal.
STARSHIP TROOPERS was a big budget rollicking space actioner that made no sense, but had its tongue lodged so hard in its cheek that it was almost bursting through. It was such enormous fun, and so successful, that a sequel was made. STARSHIP TROOPERS 2:HERO OF THE FEDERATION was a different beast altogether - darker and more of a straightforward action story with much less of the silliness and the humour. It went straight to DVD and didn't exactly set that world on fire.
Hollywood studios, though, are never ones to stop flogging a horse just because it's dead and so now we get STARSHIP TROOPERS 3:MARAUDER and the good news is that it's a return to the bombastic, over the top heady mix of ultraviolence and tart social comment of the original. It clearly doesn't have the money that the first film did, but the early section of the movie set in the trenches of the fortress-like encampment makes that a virtue by keeping it claustrophobic and tight as gore sprays the screen and wooden actors spout silly lines (our favourite "pick up that arm and see if you can find who it belongs to") with resolutely straight faces. Irony only ever works if you play it straight.
Helping out with that is Casper Van Dien as Johnny Rico, returning from the original. Not the best of actors, he has the chin and the attitude to make the character work, nonetheless. He is joined by Jolene (STAR TREK:ENTERPRISE) Blalock who has had enough practice at speaking technobabble with conviction to get by well enough.
The plot isn't quite as straightforward as you might think, but certainly not as tricksy at it thinks. There are some nice changes of tack along the way, but the descent into religiousness at the end fluffs the big finale a bit.
Any STARSHIP TROOPERS film, though, exists because of the bugs and the warrior bugs are back and as nasty as ever. The brain bug also makes a surprise return with a handy line in exploding brains and there are some new additions including bug grenades and the big daddy of them all.
STARSHIP TROOPERS exists only to entertain and this third entry into the franchise certainly manages to do that. If you're looking for 'switch your brains off' slice of mayhem to go with a six pack on a Friday night then you could do a lot worse than this.Top
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