A scene from STARSHIP TROOPERS 2: HERO OF THE FEDERATION, directed by Phil Tippett for Columbia TriStar Home Video.

Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation (2004, Phil Tippett)

The last time I tried watching Starship Troopers 2, I turned it off. I have no idea how I made it past that point this time, but I’m almost glad I did. The big problem with the first act is Brenda Strong, who it centers around. Strong’s acting “style” fit in the first film, but she’s a big problem in this one. She’s just too light to believe as a war-harden sergeant. Bad too is Lawrence Monoson, who’s playing, essentially, an SS officer.

Even Richard Burgi, who eventually gets good in the film, is bad at the start, but his introduction is at fault.

As much as I love Phil Tippett, the man cannot direct.

I just remembered, the last time I saw it I was attempting to double feature it to Desert of the Tartars. No wonder I couldn’t handle Troopers 2.

Anyway, Tippett. He’s not inventive with his budget, which is small but people have made great action movies on less. He’s shooting, it appears, on cheaper digital video and maybe in front of green screens. Some of the miniature work is solid and convincing; in fact, when it fails, it’s usually because of Tippett’s directorial choices.

Neumeier’s script has its moments, just in terms of writing quality, but he doesn’t really seem to know how to write such a small picture. Way too many characters, way too much going on. It’s a siege movie. You don’t need to complicate a siege movie.

Still, the end works.



Directed by Phil Tippett; written by Edward Neumeier; director of photography, Christian Sebaldt; edited by Louise Rubacky; music by John W. Morgan and William T. Stromberg; production designer, Franco-Giacomo Carbone; produced by Jon Davison; released by Columbia TriStar Home Video.

Starring Billy Brown (Pvt. Ottis Brick), Richard Burgi (Capt. V.J. Dax), Kelly Carlson (Pvt. Charlie Soda), Cy Carter (Pvt. Billie Otter), Sandrine Holt (Pvt. Jill Sandee), Ed Lauter (Gen. Jack Gordon Shepherd), J.P. Manoux (TSgt. Ari Peck), Lawrence Monoson (Lt. Pavlov Dill), Colleen Porch (Pvt. Lei Sahara), Drew Powell (Pvt. Kipper Tor), Ed Quinn (Cpl. Joe Griff), Jason-Shane Scott (Pvt. Duff Horton), Brenda Strong (Sgt. Dede Rake) and Brian Tee (Cpl. Thom Kobe).


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