Starship Troopers: Traitor Of Mars (2017) (Blu-ray film review).

January 8, 2018 | By | Reply More

I haven’t seen the three films that followed the original ‘Starship Troopers’ (1997), although you don’t need them to follow this adventure. The directors of ‘Starship Troopers: Traitor Of Mars’ in the extras do explain that they wanted this film more closer to Heinlein’s original 1959 book and have the marauder power-suits do thing that weren’t possible live-action, I did wonder why they stuck with motion capture with CGI so I guess that explains it.

Johnny Rico (voiced by Casper Van Dien) has been demoted and left on Mars’ independent colony to train raw recruits to fight the alien bugs while the big action is elsewhere. Carmen Ibanez (voiced by Luci Christian) is captaining a starship involved in one of these actions when she receives a telepathic message that she is needed on Mars from General Carl Jenkins (voiced by Justin Doran) but reluctant to leave in the middle of a battle. He is then captured by Sky Marshall Amy Snapp (voiced by Emily Neves) who is determined to destroy Mars with a Q-bomb, disliking its independence and all out for her own national popularity.

The bug invasion of Mars has already gone ahead and Rico has to lead his novice Lost Legion into battle for the first time and hope he can convince them that they can win. They have the fire power but not so good with the training. Things aren’t helped when Rico is separated from his troops and hallucinates Dizzy Flores (voices by Dina Meyer) to keep him going until he gets rescued. From there, soldier, get in the bounce, you’re on your own.

According to the bumf, the length of the blu-ray version of the film is 4 minutes longer than the DVD version but, as I only watched the former, I have no idea what is added. It’s certainly not the 44 second deleted scene that is shown.

The CGI is on par if not better than a standard computer game. Hair is realistic level. I had the urge from the start that if I had computer access, I would have joined them attacking the bugs. It really is that immersive. All technology and craft has sufficient gravitas to make it believable.

With the extras, the bumf says that the DVD version only has two items while the blu-ray has five. These aren’t totally exclusive because the DVD has a piece on the music and motion capture which I didn’t see on the advance disk.

‘Traitor Of Mars – A Look Inside’ is 19 minutes of features that can be watched as a collective. Made in Japan, with the exception of producer Joseph Cho who speaks English, the rest is in Japanese with sub-titles. It’s worth following because you can spot their geek enthusiasm.

The 7 minute ‘Expanding The Universe’ has actor Caspar Van Diem and scriptwriter Ed Neumeier discussing the effect of the original 1997 film on their careers. Presidents Bush and Clinton have told them that it is one of their favourite films. Let’s hope Trump doesn’t get a taste for it. In a follow-up featurette they discuss the current film. This is then followed by the deleted scene, pre-final render, and a gallery which surely deserves to be in a book for a proper appraisal.

Although the film is really one big battle, there is at least some interesting if predictable characterisation that makes it less run-of-the-mill. I was puzzled why they only focused on the ground bugs and none of the flying ones but, then, if they had them, the troopers wouldn’t have had a chance.

I was pleasantly surprised how watchable the film actually was and its certainly not for the light-hearted. Don’t be afraid to sign up.

GF Willmetts

January 2018

(pub: Sony Entertainment. 1 blu-ray disk 84 minute film with extras. Price: £ 9.99 (UK). ASIN: B0785GZM9H)

cast: Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, DeRay Davies, Justin Doran, Luci Christian and Emily Neves

check out website: www.sonypictures.co.uk

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Category: Anime/manga, Films, Scifi

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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