Genre: Science-fiction, animation
Director/s: Shinji Aramaki
Running Time: 88 mins
Released: 21 July 2012 (Japan)
Okay, first thing’s first. I feel that I need to clear up the first bit of bullshit about Starship Troopers: Invasion. Claiming that this film is – “A fast-paced thrill ride that tops the original”, as it says on the cover is a ridiculously stupid statement, clearly designed to manipulate people into buying the film, as it is simply not so. The original Starship Troopers (1997) was (and still is) an amazing film, filled with space marines, giant bugs and gratuitous violence, placing it among my all-time favourite sci-fi flicks. Filmmakers attempted to replicate the awesomeness of the original with two sequels – Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation (2004) and Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (2008), but they turned out to be such a load of crap that needless to say, when Invasion came along, I completely overlooked it until I realized it was animated. While Starship Troopers: Invasion has all the aforementioned ingredients that made the first film so great, it definitely lacks the energy and originality that gives a film everlasting re-playability. The animation is great, seemingly photo-realistic at times, in a similar style to Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and everything from the bugs to the space-cruisers have been faithfully recreated in CGI. A notable difference is the mechanized power-armour that the troopers wear (resembling Master Chief somewhat) as opposed to the regular uniforms of the infantrymen as seen in the first film. The characters in Invasion are relatively one-dimensional, expendable and utterly forgettable, lacking any modicum of soul that made their predecessors so interesting. Even though some of the characters return in this sequel, including – Carmen Ibanez, Carl Jenkins and Johnny Rico (resembling Big Boss), they are a far cry from their former, charismatic selves. My only other gripe with this film is the ‘Invasion’ title. The bugs only get to Earth in the last twenty minutes, and there’s no actual invasion as the troopers manage to contain the bugs within the confines of the ship that brought them to the planet, so not exactly the all out mankind vs. giant alien bug brawl it should’ve been.
Starship Troopers: Invasion isn’t without its good points – there is plenty of action and gore present in the film and the animation is pretty damn good. A few new bugs keep things interesting and though Invasion pales in comparison to the original film, it proves to be vastly superior to the last couple of sequels.