“Dead Eyes And All, “Starship Troopers: Invasion” Takes The Series In A Great New Direction.”
“Starship Troopers,” Paul Verhoeven’s version of Robert Heinlein’s novel, has spawned three sequels, “Starship Troopers: Hero of the Federation,” “Starship Troopers: Marauder,” and Starship Troopers: Invasion” as well as an CGI-based series, “Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles.”
It goes without saying that Verhoeven’s original remains unsurpassed, with the sequels being hobbled by humbler ambitions (probably) brought about by smaller budgets.
Though the last film, “Starship Troopers: Invasion” is a another matter. It’s done entirely in CGI, like ‘Roughnecks, but racier in terms of language and nudity, probably to bring it in more in line with Verhoeven’s film.
Though there are places where it’s welcome, such as when used for rendering spaceships, armor and weaponry, which look as good as anything that appeared in the original. The ‘Bugs’ are also beneficiaries of the CGI largess as well, and they look great.
The humans…not so much. They look like the producers had only two or three types of human figure, and used skin color, hair, body type and tattoos to differentiate them. The thing is, if you really look at people, you’ll notice that it’s the combination of little differences that combine to make us appear as individuals.
Unfortunately, even when people in “Starship Troopers: Invasion” don’t look exactly alike, they feel exactly alike. Though that’s not the worse problem, which is reserved for their eyes. The phrase “The eyes are the windows to the soul.” has origins that stretch to the Bible, though to watch the dead, soulless eyes of a CGI person give new meaning to the phrase.
Luckily most of the characters wear armored suits during combat, so it’s not always an issue, though where ‘Invasion’ really shines is its storyline.
This time around the Federation encounter a Bug that’s able to take control of a starship, mainly because Carl has been meddling about, and now they have the ability to reach Earth. It’s an interesting story, and takes events further than any of the sequels. Rico is now a General, and Ibanez is commanding her own ship. You can also tell that there was at least an attempt to make Rico resemble Caspar Van Dien though Ibanez is pretty much Generic Female Character and looks nothing like Denise Richards, and I have no idea who Carl is supposed to look like, but it’s not Neil Patrick Harris.
“Starship Troopers: Invasion” is currently on Netflix.