Starship Troopers 2: Hero Of The Federation

Starship Troopers 2: Hero Of The Federation

Crimes

  • Sticking game young actors with sketchy, clichéd characters in a shapeless scenario that can't decide if it wants to riff on zombies, vampires, or Alien-style ETs
  • Burying Ed Neumeier's intermittently pungent dialogue beneath a rush of intergalactic military jargon
  • Teasing viewers with spectacular effects shots from the original before settling into dim, cruddy-looking sequel footage

    Defender
    Director Phil Tippett, producer Jon Davison, and writer Ed Neumeier

    Tone Of Commentary
    Playfully apologetic. Tippett begins by introducing Davison and scolding, "This was your idea, Jon... How'd you get us into this?" Davison explains that if the commentators seem a bit punchy, it's because "we just finished this movie, like, two hours ago." For all their good humor, though, Tippett still says the words "direct to DVD" as though he were asking a shopgirl for a box of condoms.

    What Went Wrong
    Lack of money and lack of time for Tippett and Neumeier to realize all their ambitions, save for the wild, ironic ending, which is actually kind of cool. According to Tippett, they cut 10 pages from the screenplay in the middle of production, shot all the location sequences in two seven-hour days, and had to fill the sets with smoke in order to make the digital images look more filmic. "The best thing you can say about the schedule is that it was over fast," Davison says.

    Comments On The Cast
    "We were very lucky to get Ed Lauter."

    Inevitable Dash Of Pretension
    Neumeier cheerfully provides more than a dash. A small sampling: "We thought it was interesting to play with the idea of heroes and what a hero is." "Here, her hair comes down and she becomes a kind of Valkyrie warrior." "Now we start heading to our third-act Grand Guignol." And, finally, the theme of the piece: "We have met the enemy, and it is us."

    Commentary In A Nutshell
    Five minutes into the movie, as the actors push through a blinding sandstorm to a dark, abandoned outpost—all of which looks like a grayish blur—Tippett says, "This is the picture we're making, so let there be no mistake. Turn off the tube if you don't like it at this point."

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