Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation is a 2004 sci-fi horror-war film and a direct-to-video sequel to Paul Verhoeven‘s satirical adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein‘s novel, Starship Troopers. It is directed by the first movie (and Jurassic Park)‘s special effects artist, Phil Tippett, and stars Richard Burgi, Lawrence Monoson, Colleen Porch, and Brenda Strong, who previously appeared in the first movie as a different character.
Five years after the Federation victory on Planet P, a group of Mobile Infantry soldiers are stranded on the planet Zulu Alpha. Some of the stragglers come across an abandoned outpost and its only inhabitant, a disgraced war hero turned prisoner of war, V. J. Dax (Burgi). When the Bugs launch an attack on the outpost, the stragglers free Dax from his cell and request his aid, which he accepts. When the attack is thwarted, the stragglers‘ CO, Jack Shepherd (Ed Lauter) regroups with them along with a few other soldiers... but not all is what it seems.
The events of this movie happen concurrently with the first-person shooter game that came out a year after this movie.
Why it Sucks
- Shot for 5% of the original film's budget with a shooting schedule of only 26 days. It shows.
- Misleading cover art, which gives the impression that this movie will be an action movie instead of the horror movie it really is.
- Does not feature any of the characters from the first movie. Note that Dax was originally supposed to be Sgt. Zim (Clancy Brown), however he was unavailable at the time.
- Completely missed the spirit of the original movie. The first movie is a cheesy satire that is intentionally unfaithful to the novel as it makes fun of the fascist and militarist ideas presented in the novel and thus not meant to be taken seriously. This movie on the other hand, takes itself extremely seriously without even the slightest hint of humor.
- Extremely bad acting from most of the actors except for Burgi, Strong, and J. P. Manoux.
- Terrible editing.
- Several scenes are horribly lit or tinted to the point of being barely visible.
- The CGI, while passable, is a major step down from the original movie, which used an enormous number of practical effect shots with models.
- Weapon props that look incredibly fake. The production team for some reason elected not to use real firearms even though several of the firing Morita props from the first movie were still in the possession of Hollywood propmasters who had worked on the film. Instead, they decided to just build fake guns with blue strobe lights attached to them, passing them off as some sort of laser rifle or railgun.
- Cliche horror-movie style writing. See numbers 10 and 11.
- Derivative and uninspired; the movie ends up becoming a rip-off of haunted house movies as well as other horror movies such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
- Almost the entire cast is forgettable due to bare-minimum characterization and the dumb decisions they took throughout the movie.
- Riddled with extremely large numbers of mind-numbing plot holes.
- Relies too much on exposition.
- Poor soundtrack that sounds really cheap.