I hate this movie! I hate, hate, HATE this movie. Not only does this movie go right back to removing everything original and great about its source material, but it also shamelessly rips off my favorite movie of all time thus breaking the cardinal rule for bad movies. If you make a shitty movie, do not remind people of better movies that they can better spend their time watching! Released 4 years after Starship Troopers 3 Marauder, Starship Troopers: Invasion is a computer animated sequel to the series. Our former list of champions was sadly put to the wayside as Edward Neumeier and Casper Van Dien were shifted to the status of executive producers with their role in the creation of the film limited. Instead we now have a new director in Japanese anime director Shinji Aramaki who was the man behind anime OVA’s like Genesis Survivor Gaiarth, the Appleseed franchise, and also was the man behind Halo: Legends. With him in charge and with writer Flint Dille penning the work, Starship Troopers: Invasion takes a much different and far worse path then its predecessors.
Starship Troopers: Invasion happens several years after the events of Starship Troopers: Invasion. A fort in space inexplicably is invaded by a horde of Arachnids. How they do this is never explained and later when they are outside the space station in the vacuum of space and are completely unfazed also remains a mystery. But why should I bring logic into an argument? The strike team aboard the Alesia is deployed to rescue any survivors and evacuate the station that has been lost to the bugs. Before taking off our old friend Carl Jenkins (Not voiced by Neil Patrick Harris and looking nothing like him, but Justin Doran) commandeers the John A Warden spaceship captained by none other than Carmen Ibanez (Not voiced by Denise Richards but Luci Christian). Ibanez agitated boards the Alesia along with its crew of survivors.
Back on board we meet the crew, all of which with clever little bullshit nicknames like Mech, Holy Man, Ice Blonde, Trig and so forth so we can get rid of all that pesky character development and also learn that the colonel in charge of Fort Casey, the painfully named Colonel Hero Verro has been arrested for disobeying a commanding officer and is going to be sent to Earth to be sentenced. I wonder what his fucking plot point is going to be? But I digress. After some friendly games of grab ass and ogling at 3D rendered tits we find out the John A Warden has gone dark and it is up to the soldiers to go in and save the day. When they dock, they find the crew is dead save for Carl who has locked himself in bug holding cell and upon turning on the lights learns that an Arachnid Queen is on board the ship with a lot of here little friends helping her and so we reenact the scenes from Aliens and it is a fight to the end as the battle hardened commandos try to operationally operate to save Earth.
Animation is Passable
The animation is passable. It is not great, but it is passable. It is on par with many CGI animation movies that you see today, most notably movies like the Resident Evil animated series as well as the Halo Legends short film. It is a popular animation style as of late and although it brought nothing new or exciting to the animation, I can’t fault it for looking good and having realistic textures. So minor points there.
My word. As you force your way through this 90 minute long garbage pile you will want to mute your screen with some of the word trash that flops its way out of these animated characters mouths. It gets so bad to the point that my favorite character became Holy Man because the character took a vow of silence. With lines from Carl Jenkins like “I hacked her and she hacked me, I hacked her and she hacked me.” You just sit there and groan. It is supposed to be terrifying and build suspense to what is to come in the ship but instead you just want him to shut the hell up. With forced lines like trying to find a way to put “Would you like to know more?” into the film without having the cool television propaganda machine just makes you want to watch the original and the third installment again or throw your remote through the screen.
But the worst. The absolute worst is the cheers that they do every damn time someone dies. “Here’s to the dead, and the next one to die!” My word… My word… How could a ham-fisted expression like that ever catch on!? It is absolutely terrible. It is clunky and unimaginative. There is no way anyone would choose that over a simple ‘Cheers to the Dead!’
Voice Acting is Terrible
What is it about these damn CGI animation movies and them hiring some of the worst voice actors imaginable to create these characters? If we are going off of what passes as good voice acting, then this movie should be called Starship Troopers: Monotone. Everyone has that Leon S Kennedy dead pan expression and speech that makes you think this character would rather be anywhere else but killing bugs. At what point did people think it is ‘cool’ to have this distant not give a shit attitude towards the mass killing of enemies the size of modern sedans? It isn’t cool or badass, it makes me want to sit through a three-hour long lecture on tax reform law. It is all absolutely terrible.
The Wrong Kind of Fan Service (non egalitarian) (Regular Sexualization)
One of the main staples of Starship Troopers is fan service. If you are going to be in a Starship Troopers movie you might as well throw out all hopes of a no nudity clause in your contract because just about every man and woman in the movie is objectified in one way or another. With that being said though, another one of the main parts of the movie as well is the egalitarian treatment of the sexes. The concept of gender laws and rules are pretty much gone. There is unisex showers, soldiers hold equal rank. If you are a human you fight and die on the front lines. Doesn’t matter if you have a penis or a vagina. You are fair game to everyone. In this movie however, we are back to the concept of gender roles. The men and women wear different uniforms, with the women wearing this strange sort of leather BDSM gear and the giant suits even have a feminine and needless silhouette. As much as I disagree with a lot of sexism in some movies, I can understand why some are there, as much as I think it needs to change. But when you have a movie that prides itself on equality to turn into random objectification is simply inexcusable.
Do not… I reiterate DO NOT remind people of better movies in your shitty movie! This movie is an almost animated shot for shot remake of Aliens! A bunch of battle hardened commandos sent into a place that has gone dark without a trace. They have the EXACT SAME tracking devices and I don’t mean an homage, I mean they look EXACTLY the same as the ones from Aliens. They have to deal with an evil queen, they get overwhelmed, their escape ship is destroyed, and then to rip of Alien Resurrection and has to stop the ship from landing on Earth and invading.
This isn’t even gaining inspiration from a great movie, this is stealing shit directly from it, almost taking the complete premise of Aliens and rewriting it with a few different characters and having them face Arachnids instead of Xenomorphs. I can understand if this was a shit exploitation movie. But with a universe you have so much to work with, to just rip off a much better movie and to not even try to hide the fact is inexcusable.
This movie is terrible and the worst in the franchise that includes Starship Troopers 2: Heroes of the Federation. The voice acting is poor, the animation is only passable, and it has some of the most horrendous writing that I have seen in a long time. It does not hold true to the source material and is a blatant rip off of Aliens. This movie is not worth anyone’s time, especially fans of the series.
Final Score 0.5/5
Starship Troopers in Retrospect
Just like the original movie, the Starship Troopers franchise as a whole is very polarizing. When it is good, it is damn good with movies like Starship Troopers and Starship Troopers 3: Marauder. But when it is down, oh boy it is damn near unwatchable with the other two abominations dangling on and pulling down the much better movies. If you are going to watch these movies, I would say watch the original and then skip to Marauder and just stop there. Don’t bother with the other two.
Final Score for the Franchise: 2.5/5
Thank you for reading and as always if you enjoyed this review then please like and subscribe for more. I do enjoy doing retrospectives. I might have to do some more in the future. If you have any franchises you would like to see, please send a message or comment below.