Ah, Direct to Video

Really, if I didn’t add Starship Troopers 3:Maurauder to my Netflix queue as soon as I learned about it, I think I would have been obligated to cancel my subscription right there. Or commit seppuku.

If I’m going to watch it, I might as well liveblog it…

They’ve carried over the Serial News Flash intro. I was expecting quality equal to a FMV sequence from Wing Commander 3. I set the bar too low, it’s at least as good as the unfortunate drunken tryst of Wing Commander *4* and a Scientology promotional video.

First death by….a flying shovel. That shovel was just two days from retirement too. Casper Van Dien looks no worse for wear from his busy schedule starring in apocalyptic Christian thrillers.

Apparently we need to spend our first moments of the film listening to banal dialogue setting up some lack of dramatic tension with a love triangle between the direct to video Denzel Washington the direct to video Angelina Jolie and the direct to video Casper Van Dien. Wait, that last one was redundant.

One of the staples of low budget sci-fi movies seems to be close framed shots of people looking head-on at glowing screens rather than showing what is going on on said screens.

Starship Troopers 3 distills the essential essence of conflict between military and civilian life to this: farmers making fart noises.

Now we get to watch awkward slapstick fighting between direct to video Denzel, who is apparently a desk jockey and the aforementioned flatulent farmer. Which of course results in him wanting to arrest Casper Van Dien. And hang the farmers. No, with the elaboration of the dialog it doesn’t make any more sense.

Thankfully, the predictable failure of the perimeter fence keeping the bugs out happens just as the MPs are about to take Casper away.

Clever budget filmmaking here, it’s much cheaper to show shadows of a bug decapitating a soldier than the actual shot. Now we finally see actual bugs onscreen. Since this is 2008, the CGI and compositing doesn’t actually look half bad. If you muted the pedestrian dialogue, the only clue revolves around the editing and shot selection limiting the amount of human/CGI interaction.

Sadly, I’m only 25 minutes in at this point and still well over an hour to go. I do fear the movie blew a good chunk of its action budget. They certainly haven’t saved any money for the banter.

In fact, the sets and effects being competent just make the D2V quality script and acting all the more jarring.

General Direct to Video Denzel has of course scapegoated former hero Casper for the bugs eating everybody on the farmer planet, setting the stage for much tedious dialogue.

Meanwhile, Grand Poobah guy has been stranded on a remote planet that looks like Malibu beach along with D2V Angelina, the ship captain. In the previous blah blah we learned that they are being left to rot due to internal politics. Gee, who do you think is going to be secretly sent on a rescue mission?

I think it’s time to pause this for the night and pick up tomorrow, I have my limits.

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