Operation Roughnecks: The Pluto Campaign

  • 1998
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Adventure, Animated, Science Fiction

This first installment of an animated series chronicles Earth’s battle against invading giant insects. If the premise sounds remarkably similar to that of Paul Verhoeven's live-action sci-fi spectacle STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997), there's a good reason: Both are adapted from the same novel by Robert A. Heinlein. But while this version, originally produced...read more

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This first installment of an animated series chronicles Earth’s battle against invading giant insects. If the premise sounds remarkably similar to that of Paul Verhoeven's live-action sci-fi spectacle STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997), there's a good reason: Both are adapted from the same novel by Robert A. Heinlein. But while this version, originally produced for television, features elaborate computer animation, it lacks the human dynamics and irony of Verhoeven's live-action film. The animated “stars” of the film have flat expressions and flatter dialogue, which might just encourage viewers to root for the bugs. An elite squad of “roughnecks,” interstellar marines of the future, are sent to Pluto to aid in the rescue and evacuation of a science station surrounded by a pack of nasty looking mosquito creatures. The narrator is young reporter Private Carl Jenkins (voice of Rider Strong) sent to document the heroic efforts of our crew. The real hero is Johnny Rico (Rino Romano), a young soldier who risks himself continuously for the safety of the crew and the woman he loves. In this poor boy/rich girl retread, Johnny must prove himself by saving the butt of his “prom queen” rookie pilot, Lieutenant Carmen Ibanez (Tish Hicks); who is trapped behind enemy bug lines. The characters continually question if the alien bugs possess any real intelligence. The same question can be asked about the writers and the producers of this series.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: This first installment of an animated series chronicles Earth’s battle against invading giant insects. If the premise sounds remarkably similar to that of Paul Verhoeven's live-action sci-fi spectacle STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997), there's a good reason: Both a… (more)

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