Review: Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (2008)


Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (2008)

Directed by: Edward Neumeier | 105 minutes | action, drama, horror, thriller, comedy, adventure, fantasy, science fiction | Actors: Casper Van Dien, Jolene Blalock, Stephen Hogan, Boris Kodjoe, Amanda Donohoe, Marnette Patterson, Danny Keogh, Stelio Savante, Cécile Breccia, Garth Breytenbach, Graeme Richards, Tanya van Graan, Antonio Summerton, Nicole Tupper, Cokey Falkow, Stephen Jennings, Anthony Bishop, Robert Vega, Murray Todd, Richard Thomson, Grant Swanby, Damon Berry, Joe Vaz, Karl Thaning, Kira Wilkenson, Tyrone Keogh, Brendan Murry, Adrian Collins, Jenny Stead, Adam Neill, Aubrey Shelton, Kevin Otto, Peter Krummeck, Lauren McGregor, Craig Swanpoel, Robyn Olivia, Fred Abrahamse, Jenna Saras, Mudi Mudau, Bernard Fisher, Donal Slemon, Alan Glauber, Tarryn Page, Bongo Mbutuma, Anton Moon, Andre Laubscher, Corey Burton, Magic J. Ellingson, Catherine Oxenberg

For those who haven’t seen ‘Starship Troopers 2’ on their radar, the release of the third film will come as a surprise. Admittedly, ‘Hero of the Federation’, the first sequel to Paul Verhoeven’s 1997 film, was a flop in the broadest sense of the word. Although Edward Neumeier, who adapted Robert Heinlein’s book into a screenplay for ‘Starship Troopers’, was also recruited as scriptwriter for the second part, this flawed product in no way resembles its illustrious predecessor. In the third part, for which a much larger budget was made available than for part two, Neumeier is also responsible for directing in addition to the screenplay. He manages to stay a lot closer to the original.

One of the strongest points in ‘Starship Troopers’ was the satirical undertone, which gave the film a double layer. With actors of the “Beverly Hills, 90210” quality (protagonists Casper Van Dien and Dina Meyer even come straight from this teen soap), Verhoeven emphasized the comic book effect of the film. The mix of teenage romance with the war against the giant insects and the parody of the fascist dreamland worked perfectly in ‘Starship Troopers’, although not everyone understood the satire. But even for those who were completely ignored by the satire, Verhoevens’ film was a visual spectacle.

Then part three. Edward Neumeier appears to have taken the criticism that ‘Starship Troopers 2’ cannot be called a worthy successor, because the satire from the original is back. Neumeier even adds a few shovels. The film is bursting with satirical propaganda commercials (“Would you like to know more?””) and the notion that men and women are equal is peppered with a (way too long) scene in which both male and female troopers go all out. the clothes go. Neumeier, who makes his debut as director with this film, has a very special sense of humor, which will not appeal to everyone. However, if you’re on a par with the director, you’re hooked on ‘Starship Troopers 3: Marauder’.

Unfortunately, however, Neumeier drops a lot of stitches. The special effects are mediocre, very mediocre. The fights with the gigantic insects are therefore very disappointing. The bugs don’t look like much either and reach the level of the lifelike-looking giant insects from the cult classic nowhere. In addition, halfway through the film, the tone suddenly changes to a religious propaganda film, with actors making statements like “He believes in the wrong God, we must kill him!” At one of the key moments, we suddenly hear two of the main characters utter a full “Our Father” out loud and to top it off, an atheist is so completely converted that she only wants to get married in church. Neumeier probably wanted to poke fun at religion, but these scenes are too serious to be parody.

The story isn’t up to much either. Part two is completely ignored and so the story picks up where the original left off, albeit years later. Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien), now promoted to Colonel, leads a team of insect-killing troopers on the remote planet of Roku San. The civilians on that planet grumble about the ubiquitous military, but their discontent is rewarded with the death penalty. In the meantime, we meet Air Marshal Omar Anoke (Stephen Hogan), who, in addition to his successful career as a soldier, has a job as a pop star and he does that without merit. His hit “It’s a good day to die” is one of the more successful satirical jokes in the film. Anoke is accompanied by Rico’s ex-girlfriend, Captain Lola Beck (Jolene Blalock), who now has a new boyfriend, Dix Hauser (Boris Kodjoe). When Rico goes against Hauser by defending a bunch of civilians, he is sentenced to death. Yet Hauser saves him because Lola along with Anoke and a bunch of others are stranded on an even more distant planet, home to even nastier insects. Rico takes a bunch of troopers under him to save the party, especially Anoke, whose absence is covered up from the people.

Compared to ‘Starship Troopers 2’, ‘Marauder’ may be an improvement, but a worthy successor to Verhoeven’s masterpiece has still not been made. But hey, did anyone expect that?

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