In the future people of America are given a choice, be a civilian or a citizen, to be a citizen as most prefer they have to serve with the military. Serving with the military is no easy task though as war has got harder and driven further as people now travel trough space.
We see a planet at war with the military fighting against giant bugs, these bugs keep throwing giant meteors at Earth and destroying human life. The military are being easily killed so they are calling for more recruits.
Johnny Rico is a normal boy who wishes to join up when he finishes school, he is only doing this to follow his girlfriend as she wishes to train to be a pilot. He joins up much to the disappointment of his family and soon has the hard task of fighting against him. He has problems in training but soon excels and soon he is off to war. His girlfriend Carmen has dumped him and said she is going to focus on her career so Rico is left a little disheartened and thinks about throwing it all in.
Will Rico stick at it and if so what will he face when going to war and will Carmen ever become the pilot she wishes? Mostly will we be able to defeat the bugs before they destroy all mankind?
This is so not my kind of film but I reluctantly agreed to watch it as hubby wanted to watch it again. I have to say I did start to get into it but I could not get rid of the nausea I was feeling over the cheesy and corny acting. I did say to hubby that if it got any worse I would be needing a sick bucket! The storyline was good and could have been improved greatly by the acting. I was kind of confused with the story as the acting was making it verge on being funny but then we would get a very horrible scene which would turn my stomach and for me it seemed as if the whole budget was spent on the special effects.
The role of Rico was played by Casper Van Dien and he could not have been more wooden. He looked like a posh American schoolboy and looked so out of place with his immaculate skin and hair trying to make it as a soldier. He did improve slightly during the fighting scenes but he was just trying to hard to delver his lines then and his over enthusiasm did spoil the slight improvement in the way he held himself and worked with the props. There should have been a good chemistry between him and Carmen as they were supposed to be in love but this again looked forced and not natural. Rico did have a better chemistry with Dizzy who played another school friend who had gone to the same training regiment as him and they were more at ease together. The role of Dizzy was played by Dina Meyer and she for me was one of the best actors and seemed more at ease in the film. She seemed to make Rico come out of his wooden box and be able to deliver a few genuine lines.
We had a few decent support actors in the film and these included, Jake Busey, Neil Patrick Harris and Clancy Brown. None of them gave stand out performances but they were acceptable.
As I said before the best bit in this film was the special effects. The bugs looked good and not overly futuristic and they did actually resemble bugs we can find today, just a lot larger and meaner! They moved well and the interaction with them and the humans looked good and quite realistic. We did have a lot of gruesome parts to the film when people were having their heads and limbs sliced off and for me it was a little over the top and not at all in keeping with the rest of the film. I think if the brutality would have been calmed down then this would be a good film to appeal to the teenage market as it would not have had the serious side and they would have thought of t as a fun film.
The scenes in space were all good and I enjoyed seeing what the future is supposed to be like and how easy we can travel to different galaxies. This was all good and one of the better elements of the film. The costumes were good but nothing special and the futuristic weapons did at times look plastic and fake but they kept in with the film and the acting skills. The soundtrack complete passed me by on this film as I am now not able to remember a single track which was used.
As this is a film only review there are no bonus features to speak about. The running time of the film is 129 minutes and I did find this was a little too long. The certificate is a 15 or 18 for the video release. I cannot understand why they are different but they are listed as so. I would say that this film is for the older teenage market as some of the scenes were very brutal and gruesome to watch.
I cannot give this film more than 3 stars, I have given the third star purely for the effects. The acting was wooden and very poor, the costumes were good but nothing special and overall I found the whole film to be very cheesy. I would say not to make an effort to watch this film and only do so if there is nothing better to watch.