So, after an un-eventful flight to “P” and of course the previous carpet bombing, we see the roughnecks dis-embark on the planet ready to mop up any bug scum that the giant bombs may have missed. Which of course there are, so the orders are to mop up and to “nuke” any bug holes they find, bug holes just being holes that bugs come out of (well duh….). The nukes they speak of however are never really elaborated on, probably because you hear the word nuke you assume it’s a massive explosion. These nukes however are of the miniature variant that are fired from a shoulder mounted launcher, for convenience I guess.
There obviously not many bugs about at the moment because they’ve been bombed to buggery, however there are a few stragglers left that get taken care of. However there is a bug we see that we have only seen on Klendathu, and that’s the big plasma shitting bugs that were shooting ships out of the sky. Although this time we find out that they possess flame throwers as their frontal weapon, huh….. dragon-beetles so to speak? So with this bug being especially big, bullets seem to just ping off its tough hide, so the infantry is fucked right? WRONG! Rico clambers up some rocks and does a super jump onto the back of the Bug/Beetle thing and proceeds to shoot a hole in it, I wonder why he’s doing tha…. Ohhhh, he’s just chucked a grenade into the hole jumps off suicide stylee and watches as the massive bug explodes from the inside spraying orange goo everywhere, ewwww.
This piece of acrobatic suicide on Ricos part earns him a battlefield promotion to Corporal, Radcheck does this in the best way possible though by telling Rico “Your it until your dead, or until i find someone better” no other reaction from me other than badass!
So the M.I set up camp and decide to have a big old party, which is a bit odd because there on an enemy planet and getting hammered doesn’t seem the best thing to do? However this does give Diz an opportunity to get with Rico, since being dumped by Carmen he’s a free man, so to cut a long story short they bone, but not before getting interrupted by Mr Radchek and say they need to respond to a distress call, and to be in the Command HQ in 10 minutes, then he sees Diz in the bed and says make it 20 minutes, which was a nice little touch well done writers and Michael Ironside.
So come daylight, there all mobilised and move in on an apparently abandoned base that’s been seriously fucked up, maimed, limbless bodies, blood and gore evverryywherrreee. The only living soul they see is a general that has hidden inside a closet, he is clearly insane, and babbles on about the bugs getting inside the heads of his men, this is accentuated by them finding a body with a big hole in his head where his brains have been sucked out…. Pleasant…
Then oh no! They’ve been lulled into an absolutely mahoosive ambush and are surrounded on all sides by the arachnid swarms accompanied by the dragon beetles and now some flying bastards that seem to swoop and decapitate troops with ease. They radio for extraction “You’d better have a crazy pilot!” Which is foreshadowing if ive ever seen it because who do we know that’s been called a crazy pilot…. That’s right Carmen! Shes the one piloting the boat that gets our beleaguered infantry out of the fire, however before that happens we unfortunately lose Mr Radchek as his legs get sheared off by Mr Huge bug number 3 and he demands that Rico put him out of his misery/pain (which he does.)
We have one more buddy to lose though and that’s Diz 😦 she gets essentially knifed in the back by an arachnid and dies in Ricos arms while there flying to safety. It’s sad because I liked Dizzy she was actually believable in her role and very likeable too. So Carmen looks into the back and sees Rico and is understandably surprised because she believed him to be dead, of course she seems to stunned to react too much (bitch) but at least Rico is on the ball and wants that whole planet bombed to smithereens, but fleet have other plans for that particular planet. Johnny replies to this in the classic line “M.I. does the dieing, Fleet just does the flying”.
So after the funeral for Diz they find out that there going back to planet “P” to capture a brain bug, which would explain the military intelligence of the bugs, as they had previously thought they were just a mindless horde just ripe for the squashing rather than a serious military threat, which they are, times by about a million.
When the Infantry do land on P they have that supreme confidence and bravado that they had during the drop/invasion/failure on Klendathu but it feels a bit different this time around, perhaps because they have a clear objective of what they are supposed to do other than act like a bunch of lemmings. Once they start to close in on their target they see an escape pod crash down into bug city and Rico and two others decide to go rescue them because, one of the pilots happens to be Carmen. So while the rest of the unit go onto the objective while the 3 of them go to rescue her and Xander, but they don’t get there in time to save Xander.
Xander dies as there is a brain bug, and surprise surprise it looks disgusting, kind of like a smooth brain funnily enough. It proceeds to suck the brains out of him in a quite frankly disturbing and utterly gruesome way (It sticks a great big talon thing into his head, ugh trying not to think about it too much, it’s really hard to watch). Before they can do the same with Carmen however we see Rico holding a nuke and gets her to come to them as the bugs know what it is and don’t want him to set it off (well again, Duh they don’t want to die like that)….. Then for some reason they attack anyway so off they run, then one of them gets injured so he stays behind in a heroic final stand which lets the others get away and he then detonates the “nuke” and hopes he hasn’t vaporized his friends too.
Of course they make it, and walk out of bug city to see loads of cheering and happy faces as people yell that they’ve captured the brain bug! Woop! And who caught it? Why it was Ricos drill sergeant from the boot camp section of the movie, he had himself busted down to private so he could join in the fight. I liked that bit too, it was a nice nod to the past and a bit of continuity right there.
(Re-cap, this is Zim)
So the film ends on a high note of optimism now that they have the brain bug, they can learn to understand it, and as you understand it you can learn how to destroy it. It ends on an obvious cliff hanger though because the war is clearly not over, it’s just on the cusp of being winnable then bam! End of film.
For all my griping and bitching this film is actually great fun to watch and is quite rightly up there with some of the best sci-fi action and cheese available, its aged very well in my opinion, who’d have thought it was 16 years old already? I certainly didnt and I remember the film coming out in the cinemas, man do I feel old!
If you ever get the chance to watch it or buy it on the cheap then do so and sit back and enjoy 2 hours of brilliant movie 🙂
Thanks for reading
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