Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien) was once a simple roughneck, the military’s expendable front line fodder against the arachnid menace. But now Rico has risen to the rank of Colonel, tasked with supervising a farming outpost and making sure bug invaders don’t overtake the location. The outpost is held down well, until a surprise visit from higher ups sparks a chain of events that leads to the place being overrun by vicious bugs. A small group manages to escape, including the Sky Marshall and Rico, but the military decides to hide the truth and blame Rico for the events. In order to avoid court martial and potential death, Rico must track down the Sky Marshall and rescue him, against government orders. Rico has survived some brutal encounters in the past, but can he survive the attacks of his own government?

As we can tell from the film’s title, this is the third movie in the Starship Troopers series and while it tries to capture the magic of the original, it fails on all cylinders. The first Starship Troopers was a minor masterpiece of sorts, but all the positives from the original have turned into negatives in this second sequel. The fascist government propaganda devices fall flat this time around, the over the top violence lacks the same visceral punch, the references to old school war cinema are ineffective, and above all else, the polish and camp value have been sucked out. Marauder tries and tries hard to be like the original, but instead comes off as cheaply made and forced, which isn’t what we want. I wanted to like Starship Troopers 3, but in the end, I was disappointed and I think most other fans of the original will be as well.

Video: How does it look?

Starship Troopers 3: Marauder is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This movie looks like it was made on the cheap, but this transfer is damn near perfect. I was able to see so much subtle detail, to the point where I am sure some of the stars would be irritated by the visible imperfections. Now that is what high definition is all about. The colors are bold and vivid, while contrast is stark and never wavers in the slightest. I did see a few minor quibbles here and there, but by and large, this is one impressive visual presentation and then some.

Audio: How does it sound?

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 option never reaches the level of the visual transfer, but it sounds quite good. Some of the audio sounds excellent, with deep presence and power, while others come off as flat and unrealistic. This is inconsistent and then some, as even action scenes vary in terms of power and volume, which is unusual. Even so, the sound design is partly to blame, as it is rather poor and as such, this soundtrack shouldn’t shoulder the entire burden. So uneven at times, but above average overall and I think most viewers will be satisfied. This disc also includes French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Thai language tracks, as well as subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, and Indonesian.

Supplements: What are the extras?

A pair of commentaries are found here, with director Ed Neumeier joined by technical crew in one and two stars in the other, though neither is really worthwhile. At least the crew track offers some minor insight into low budget filmmaking, whereas the one with the stars is pathetic self praise for the entire duration. You’ll also find a music video, as well as two brief, promotional featurette. This Blu-ray release also sports an exclusive Marauder Mode, in which picture in picture content streams in such as behind the scenes, txt trivia, and other goodies.

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