The bugs that we love to hate are back in this 2012 computer animated direct to video science fiction film being directed by Shinji Aramaki of Fullmetal Alchemist and Appleseed. In this installment of Starship Troopers we are dealing with a whole new batch of MI Troopers but the three heroes from the first and third film have staring rolls as well. It is a in-depth ride of what it is like to try and out smart the bug except this time it is a queen and she has control of a starship of her own. A film full of suspense and explosions to keep you on your toes.
Being that this film is mostly a Japanimation done in a computer there are things that many Americans just will not get. You don’t have sequence after sequence of scenes that are nothing but action and jumbled images. In true Japanimation style you have poignant moment and drawn out suspense as you wait for what is to happen next. Those pauses in the film are needed not only to catch your breath but to build suspense for what is to happen next. Like a rollercoaster you are drawn up the hill and then dropped like a rock over the cliff as you scream for more and then you go back up the hill to do it all over again. You have thrills around every corner and suspense as you get to those moments that will have you holding your breath as all hell breaks loose with the next wave of bug attacks. This is Sci-Fi done right!
At the start of the film we have A-01 Team that is going in to Fort Casey to extract K-12 Team and its commander from a bug infested military installation. It is a testing facility that has been built on the face of an asteroid that is in a stable orbit around some planet. What we don’t know at the beginning is what kind of research that they are doing. What we do know is that Dr. Carl Jenkins (voiced by Justin Doran) is in charge of the clandestine operations that are going on there. As the MI Troopers come in to get K-12 he is moving crates of materials onto the Starship John A. Warden that is being commanded by Captain Carmen Ibanez (voiced by Luci Christian). He has taken the ship from her and had her removed to the Alesia, the ship that is support for MI: A-01 Team. Then without warning, he just takes the ship and leaves, leaving the Alesia and her team to fend for themselves.
A-01 is commanded by Lieutenant Tony Daugherty (voiced by Sam Roman) and his team consists of Trig (Emily Neves) a sniper that almost never misses. Ice Blonde (Melissa Davis) is a female Corporal that has no problems parading around naked in front of the men. Mech (Jovan Jackson) is the teams explosive sergeant and loves to countdown the explosions for everyone. All are a tight nit group who have lost a lot but refuse to let it get them down as they look forward to drinking their memory and killing more bugs for those that have fallen.
K-12 team was assigned to Fort Casey with Major Henry Varro, Hero (David Wald) as their Commander. At the start of the film he is in custody for sedition and his men are pissed about it but wont tell anyone what happened. They fear they will be put in the same place as their Commander if they say anything about what happened. Of those that are left you have Lieutenant Otis Hacks, Bugspray (Andrew Love) who is the acting commander of the team. Ratzass (Leraldo Anzaldua) is the teams sergeant and all around joker and hard case. Holyman (Kalob Martinez) is a private that is very spiritual and has tattoos all over his body, viewing them as talismans of protection and luck.
Both teams do have others but in true MI tradition they are all expendable and die in the bloodiest and in the most indiscriminate vicious ways that the bugs can do. Hell, the bugs blow up a starship right under them. The bugs are getting smarter and there is not much that either team can do but to kill as many of them as possible as their own numbers keep dwindling. We even get to see General Johnny Rico (David Matranga) and his Marauder squad join the fight to save Earth and the Terrain Federation from a full scale bug invasion.
This film is in many ways better then the first as it seems more complete. You have the right balance of action and suspense to wonder where the time went and yet at the same time feel that the film went on forever. The film draws you in and you totally forget that it is all being made in the computer with no live action at all. Sure there are motion capture sequences but it is all CG effects that you are seeing on the screen. If you likes the first one then you are going to love this one. If you loved the first Starship Troopers then you will go absolutely nuts for this one. You even have an interesting Easter Egg that shows after the credits.
So if you “Would You Like To Know More” then you will have to “Do Your Part” and watch the film to see what is going to happen next.
I give this film a Musing review of