Franchise Weekend – Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation (2004) Movie Review

Director: Phil Tippett

Writer: Edward Neumeier (Screenplay)

Starring: Billy Brown, Richard Burgi, Kelly Carlson, Cy Carter, Sandrine Holt, Ed Lauter, Brenda Strong, Colleen Porch

Plot: In the sequel to Paul Verhoeven’s loved/reviled sci-fi film, a group of troopers taking refuge in an abandoned outpost after fighting alien bugs, failing to realize that more danger lays in wait.

Tagline – They’re coming back to wipe us out!

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Noticeable Small Sequel

Story: Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation starts straight after the first film, the humans know have the upper hand in the war against the bugs with more soldiers on the ground ready for battle. We follow a small unit that find themselves surrounded in a night assault, who seek refuge in an abandoned outpost, deep in the bug territory.

The unit finds Captain Dax (Burgi) locked away inside, while the unit gets surrounded Lei Sahara (Porch) does what she can to save her unit against her LT Dill (Monoson) who wants to get involved in paperwork and ranks, when the real enemy is a new threat they have never seen before.

Thoughts on Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation

Characters – Captain VJ Dax is the officer found trapped in the outpost, once a hero of the war now a disgraced man, he is the only one that seems to know how to fight back on a more aggressive way than other soldiers are. He will demand the best from the soldiers no matter how it might see him clash with the others. Pvt Lei Sahara is one of the strongest members of the unit, she is a weak psychic that gets visions that don’t always get taken seriously, she makes the rash decision to release Dax. LT Pavlov Dill is the inexperienced soldier put in a position of power that is more interested in dealing with the ranks and orders than saving the soldier’s lives. Pvt Soda is one of the soldiers saved that needs medical attention, though she isn’t everything she looks like.

PerformancesRichard Burgi is the best of the performers here, he does continue the tone of a strong military man, while most of the rest of the cast don’t reach this level. Colleen Porch does handle the serious side of the film well too.

StoryThe story continues the war between humans and bugs, only this time we see the soldiers cornered in battle which will see them finding an enemy coming from within. The story here does scale back big time what we are dealing with, giving us a small unit that must battle from within one location instead of different warzones. We do move the story on from the original as we see just how humans once again understatement an enemy, as well as providing more to the bug intelligence that we are seeing. One of the problems with the story though does come from the fact we are making the story more contained, this doesn’t help on the idea of the large scale war going on, this conflicts the audience into seeing almost like a small chapter of the war over the next battle for victory.

Action/Sci-FiThe action does continue to be large scale shooting between the humans aiming for the bugs that don’t stop, while the sci-fi is more horror based with the idea of the new bug that no human has seen before.

SettingsThe film does use the outpost as the main setting, it would be a safehouse for the soldiers during the attack, though just how safe is a different question.

Special EffectsThe effects while given a much small budget, don’t look bad at all, they continue to make the bugs look terrifying for anybody that comes across them.

Scene of the Movie – Stand off on the roof.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We try to swap genres doing an alien to aliens reverse tone for the film, that just doesn’t work.

Final Thoughts This is a sequel that doesn’t live up to the original, it does try to do something different, though it just fails to make everything hit the heights of the original.

Overall: Simple Sequel.

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – W – Wonder Park (2019) Movie Review

Director: Dylan Brown

Writer: Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec (Screenplay) Robert Gordon, Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Brianna Denski, Matthew Broderick, Mila Kunis, Kenan Thompson, John Oliver, Ken Jeong, Ken Hudson Campbell, Jennifer Garner

Plot: Wonder Park tells the story of an amusement park where the imagination of a wildly creative girl named June comes alive.

Tagline – Dream bigger.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Simple Animation

Story: Wonder Park starts as we meet the imaginative young girl named June who along with her mother has created a fictional amusement park known as Wonderland, she wants to bring this to life, only after her mother gets sick, she gives up on the dream, dumping all of the plans she once had.

One a school trip June doesn’t want to leave her father alone and in her escape attempt, she finds herself in an abandoned Wonderland, where the animals she has created are fighting the horrors in the park. June needs to fix the problems created in the park, to bring her escape from her own grief back to life.

Thoughts on Wonder Park

Characters – June is the young girl that has a wild imagination who created a theme park with her mother, she has even tried to make it a reality only for it to fall apart. She gives up on her dream closing off to the world, only for her past to come back to her, where she needs to help the park come back to life to save the residents and find her happiness again. Peanut is the monkey that runs the park, he takes the ideas of June and entertains the crowds, only he has gone missing since the darkness arrives in the park. Greta holds the park together along with the rest of the animals.

StoryThe story here follows a young girl that has created an amusement part in her mind with her mother, only to give up on the idea after her mother becomes ill, only to find herself in the park filled with darkness where she needs to confront her own feelings to save her dream. This story does try to deal with one of the most serious issues in life, loss, one where a younger person will struggle to process the ideas properly, we get the message about not giving up on the dreams, only we get it told in such a strange fantasy filled way it just doesn’t connect on the levels it could do. The heart in the film is great, only the comedy drags it away.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure side of the film shows us the park that June ends up being taken into, somewhere was only in her imagination, with the comedy not hitting hard enough for the all set up created.

SettingsThe film does use the settings of the park to make us see the beauty created and how it can looked beaten down when the dreams become shattered.

AnimationThe animation looks strong, being the best part of the film, with each location looking beautiful.

Scene of the Movie – The new ride.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The comedy.

Final Thoughts This is a simple animation that tries to show the heart it requires only to get caught on the comedy that doesn’t work.

Overall: Heart Filled Animation.