The original "Starship Troopers" was fun; it was over the top, comical and a bit of a guilty pleasure. "Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation" is none of that, a poor direct to video sequel made on a tiny budget and whilst not the worst movie I have ever watched is certainly a misguided attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the original. And in truth, there are only 2 things which are good about "Starship Troopers 2" those are Brenda Strong and Richard Burgi as the rest of the cast is as forgettable as the movie.
A Federation Mobile Infantry unit find themselves trapped in an abandoned remote outpost as they are vastly out numbered by the bugs. But they are not alone as they find locked in the furnace Capt. V.J. Dax (Richard Burgi) who had been incarcerated for killing his superior officers, but being outnumbered they need his supreme military skills to defend the outpost. But having a killer help them out is not the only problem they have to face as whilst they try to keep the bugs out they have another enemy within.
"Starship Troopers 2" starts by recapturing that over the top sense of gung ho military with a public announcement but it is only briefly because quickly the true "Starship Troopers 2" reveals itself. That true "Starship Troopers 2" is a cheaply made sequel which not only suffers from poor special effects which often keeps the CGI and actors separate as well as in the dark but also a bad script. There is nothing in the least bit clever or original about a small bunch of troopers stuck in a remote outpost where the danger is within as well from the outside. And to be honest for much of the movie it seems to try and distract you with unimportant scenes, padding it out with cheap thrills such as a naked woman.
What this means is that "Starship Troopers 2" fails to capture anything which was good about the first movie and just delivers some routine sci-fi action nonsense. When it does eventually just focus on the action and as the title suggest on a hero it becomes almost reasonable but before that, which basically means the first 80 minutes it is dull. It almost feels wrong for it to be called a sequel because whilst we have the troopers battling bugs none of that camp feel of the first movie manifests itself.
But what also doesn't help this weak sequel is the fact that we are thrown straight into a melee of action and so don't get introduced to the characters. And between having quite a few characters and a lot of the drama taking place in the dark, especially early on it is hard going trying to work out who is who and how important they are. In the end whilst Colleen Porch is watchable as Pvt. Lei Sahara and Ed Lauter is recognizable as Gen. Jack Gordon Shepherd it is the duo from "Desperate Housewives" Brenda Strong and Richard Burgi who make the biggest impression but only because they have strong characters which allow them to over act the macho side of them.
What this all boils down to is that whilst not the worst movie ever made "Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation" does seriously suck even for a direct to video production. Anything which was enjoyable about the first movie is missing in this cheaply made sequel which ends up just delivering routine sci-fi action.