Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (2008, USA)

Being such a big sci-fi fan I don’t exactly know how I managed to avoid seeing the first two Starship Troopers movies. I know that when I had cable TV subscription I peeked into one of them a few times, but the alien bugs were so ridiculous and the fighting was so badly choreographed that I didn’t tune in for the whole thing. Reading some reviews it seems that it was the second part, which generally has a bad reputation.

This, the freshest installment of the franchise, Starship Troopers 3: Marauder, wasn’t that bad. My thirst for futuristic buildings, planets, spacescrafts, clothes and design was satisfied. I also know that they have to include, fascinating gadgetry, sexy women and disgusting, evil and powerful aliens in this kind of movies. Check for all of the above. Sprinkle in a few bad humans, who work against the heroes and the recipe, is full. The only surprise was the discussion of religion. Here is the longest related quote, besides what’s happening at the end of the movie:

Bull Brittles: He thinks God is a Bug?
Lola Beck: He’s got religion. Their religion.
Holly Little: Bug religion?
Bull Brittles: That’s crazy.
Holly Little: That’s blasphemy!
Bull Brittles: What do we do now?
Holly Little: Maybe we should kill him.
Lola Beck: Why, because he’s crazy? Or he believes in God like you?
Holly Little: It’s the wrong God!

Herein, in the last line, lies the problem. We have Holy Little, who believes in a very Christianity-like religion, which happens to be banned/discouraged under the regime that thinks believers cannot be good soldiers. (And they desperately need good soldiers to fight the Bugs.) Holy Little is a fundamentalist, who advocates religion but only her own. The “other” religion has the wrong G-d, and it’s hard not to think of it as a reference to Islam. Particularly that at the very end we see that religion, more specifically the religion that has the cross as its main symbol, is accepted and incorporated in government, because religion ad religious people can be used in the war against the Bugs.

So on the top level this movie seems to be in the spirit of crusade against non-Christians. On the other hand most of the references to religion have a tongue-in-cheek feel. If I consider that the movie contains fictional TV ads for joining the army–that mock the tone of current TV ads for any products and these obviously show lies suitable serving the government’s purpose–then I think the over-the-top way religious topics are brought in are mocking the war-mongering religious types. In this regard the movie was a clever play with these ideas, because it is hard to say, which level the creators of the show are aligned with. I am afraid though that the subtleties I descried are rather lost in the heat of the fights that of course dominates this film. Nevertheless I enjoyed my brain being teased a bit, while following the action.