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4 November 2010

Starship Troopers

I can't remember where I watched the first Starship Troopers film. I must be getting old. It might have been at the Pictures. I've got in my head that I wasn't really that impressed with the film at the time. Not sure why. Fast forward to about a year ago and by chance I found myself watching the film again, only this time I might have even enjoyed it! No, I think I might have! So much so in fact, that after I'd discovered that they'd made a couple of sequels, I was inspired enough to hunt down the DVDs.

Well I finally dusted them off and gave them a watch.

First the bad news...

Starship Troopers 2 is a disappointment. Yeah, it's got bugs for Africa, but once you get past the initial shit-and-disaster opening the film turns into a siege-type story that struggles to ignite any real fire. Being set in effectively the one location stifled the film for me. I don't understand the reasoning behind that decision. That said, the acting is good and the effects are great.

Another decision that puzzles me is why the film makers ditched the Sci-Fi angle and instead opted to make a tame Horror. I kept getting flashbacks to 'the Thing' which I guess had some similar ideas, but in my opinion 'the Thing' pulled it off a whole lot better.

There is humour in here, but it's not the same sort as in the first film. You don't get the same Federation propaganda adverts and tongue-in-cheek social commentary. Perhaps Starship Troopers 2 takes itself a little too seriously? I don't know. Anyway, on the Triple-B scale I give Starship Troopers 2 a bug-in-the-mouth 5.

And for the good news...

Starship Troopers 3 takes us back to the magic of the first film. This was the sequel I had been hoping for when I switched on 2. I guess they learnt their lesson!

The humour's back. Even 'Rico' - one of the original cast - is back, but most importantly it's back to being more of a classic Sci-Fi yarn. This time as I was watching I was getting undercurrents of Star Trek, which was no doubt helped by the fact that Jolene Blalock stars. It took a while for me to place her, but I did in the end. But don't start cheering: I still had to look up her name for this review.

For me, the story is bigger and better. Ironically I'm not convinced that the special effects are any better, but there is a bit more diversity and invention to them than was evident in the second film.

It just felt fresher all round. Bloody Hell... am I gushing? Must... be... stronger...

And is it me or does the super-Brain insect-thing's mouth look like a huge vagina? (Now, there's a word I haven't used in a long time...)

Take my advice: Watch the first and jump directly to the third. I give Starship Troopers 3 a solid 7.

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