It’s so strange to think that Starship Troopers: Traitor Of Mars is the fifth installment in the Starship Troopers franchise. Released twenty years after the original, this is a fully CGI-animated adult movie. Hence the R rating and a couple of graphic scenes. Nothing too wild mind you because this is still a mainstream release. I kind of wish they went all-in with the nasty stuff as the source material has so much potential for it. What we ended up with is a solid space action movie taking place on the red planet, Mars. The quality of the animation isn’t the greatest but it will do just fine.
The same cannot be said for the dialogues that feel childish and cliched. This is not a movie for everyone. The only reason why I decided to check it out was that I was dying for some space action. Plus, I’m a fan of the original, and in Starship Troopers: Traitor Of Mars, both Rico and Dizzy make a triumphant return. I almost forgot to tell you that you don’t need to watch any of the previous movies to enjoy this one. It’s the future, we’re at war with aliens who just happen to be giant bugs and that’s it.
The whole Starship Troopers franchise is based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert A. Heinlein. Heinlein is one of my favorite science fiction writers and I do recommend you check out some of his novels like Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. This gives the franchise a very interesting background and themes to explore.
From an authoritarian government, over misinformation to the army mentality. All of them still very relevant and intriguing. So, I think that some of the political aspects of this movie might positively surprise you. Too bad they weren’t fully realized but, again, this is not that type of a movie. Hopefully, the next installment in the franchise will fix that.
A veteran member of the mobile infantry, Johnny Rico now spends his days’ training recruits on Mars. He longs for intense battles with an alien species known as Arachnids as the fighting was his whole life. At the same time, The United Citizen Federation is embarking on a dangerous mission to stamp out the bugs once and for all. However, things will not go as planned and Rico will finally get his big fight with swarms of angry bugs.
What also sparked my love for the franchise was the 2000 video game Starship Troopers: Terran Ascendancy. It was a bit ahead of its time with cool camera movement and solid graphics. You should know that sometime this year we will finally get a new video game, Starship Troopers – Terran Command. So, if you like this sort of thing, do keep an eye out because it promises to be a blast. Moving on, when you’re making an animated movie it’s really important to get the sound effects and music right. And they were quite good here. After a while, you will forget that this is not a live-action movie and simply go along with the story. And I really liked that death metal song at the end.
I think that the most important thing with Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars is to lower your expectations. This is fun little dose of space escapism and nostalgia for those who loved the original. It brings nothing new to the franchise but it will keep you entertaining for eighty minutes. And sometimes that’s all you need from a movie. If you’re looking for something similar, I do recommend you check out Harlock: Space Pirate. It’s really fun and features stunningly good CGI of space battles and huge ships.
Director: Shinji Aramaki, Masaru Matsumoto
Writer: Edward Neumeier
Cast: Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, Emily Neves, Justin Doran, Luci Christian, Scott Gibbs, Greg Ayres
Fun Facts: It marks the return of Edward Neumeier, who wrote the first three movies in the franchise.