Monday, August 18, 2008

STARSHIP TROOPERS 3: MAURADER Offers Political And Social Commentary

The third film in the STARSHIP TROOPER series is a markedly better film than the awful low budget STARSHIP TROOPERS 2 which was filmed on a shoestring budget just 5% of the budget of the first film which is a true Sci Fi classic. And STARSHIP TROOPERS 3 has also managed to catch much of the sense of humor and social and political satire of the first film with an extensive use of newsreel type footage.

Like the first film, a right wing neofascist united Earth government makes extensive use of propaganda films to recruit young people into a war effort with deadly alien insects. However, the third film's newsreel footage vilify the peace movement and attempt to paint them as terrorists and even uses executions as a weapon of repression and fear in order to control dissent in this fascist system of the future.

Unlike many elective wars, this war of the future is indeed a true battle for the survival of mankind, so a large part of this social commentary falls a little short here because most wars of the present are elective wars with goals such as capturing the natural resources of another nation or changing the government of another nation, where phony arguments of dangers are hyped up used to justify the actions. The U.S. did that in Iraq, and more recently Russia did the same in Georgia. But a clear antiwar message in the film about an ongoing future war still is clear.

And the film makes a more than extensive debate about faith and religion as well. Officially the fascist government of the future is antiGod and antifaith, but events help to restore faith to this Godless society. But it is certainly surprising why the debate about religion was such a main theme in this film for some strange reason.

The film is certainly not perfect, but there is plenty of good Sci Fi action, but actress Jolene Blalock from the old STAR TREK series ENTERPRISE looked especially big lipped, which provided a bit of a distraction for me, as she came across as a cheap Angelina Jolie in the film, and left the viewer wondering if this big lipped look was the result of stage makeup or plastic surgery gone real bad such as way too much collagen. Regardless of this distraction, once the viewer could get past all of this, Blalock came across as an adequate enough heroine figure.

At least this film provided a few decent half famous actors like Blalock and Casper Van Dien and Catherine Oxenberg compared to the ultra-cheap STARSHIP TROOPERS 2 which attempted to pass off aging background police and fire department movie extra Ed Lauter dressed up in a military uniform as a general as the film's main name star. Lauter looked well past retirement age in STARSHP TROOPERS 2 for sure.

STARSHIP TROOPERS 3 may not be anywhere as enjoyable as the first classic film. But the film is worth at least one look as a DVD rental. And the clever use of newsreel type footage as well as the political and social commentary provide more interesting reasons to give this Sci Fi film at least a viewing or two. You could do worse.


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