Starship Troopers Reviews
Set sometime in the 23rd Century, mankind is at war! While colonizing new planets humanity has encountered an insectoid species known as Arachnids, or "Bugs" on the distant world of Klendathu. When the Bugs send a large asteroid to end and annihilate Buenos Aires, Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien) swears revenge. He, his girlfriend Carmen (Denise Richards) and their best friend Carl (Neil Patrick Harris) enlist. While the other two are given high-ranking positions, Rico is sent to the front lines where he and his fellow Mobile Infantry members (including Dina Meyer as Dizzy, Jake Busey as Ace, Michael Ironside as Lt. Rasczak and Clancy Brown as Career Sgt. Zim) come face-to-face with the Bugs, little more than human shredding machines on legs.
"Starship Troopers" gets downright nasty in its violence and gore. To make the "eww" factor even more traumatic, the special effects are excellent and don't look dated in any way (despite the fact that this picture was made in 1997). Does that mean everyone on-screen save for the main players are just going to be meat sacks for the grinder like in a slasher movie? Not quite because you will care about the people present. The movie takes the time to give each character their own traits and personality but it does so efficiently, developing several characters at once to show them both as individuals and as a cohesive fighting force. "Starship Troopers" is constantly eliminating and introducing new soldiers to the fray so you never who's going to make it and who is going to be sent home in a body bag. You've got to be paying attention even when the monsters aren't on-screen because that's where the important dramatic beats are present. People fall in love, develop friendships, rivalries and grow as individuals as they are affected by the war they're in.
What I like about Verhoeven's films is that he always goes all-out. The movie knows it's an R-rated film so it doesn't sugarcoat anything or censor itself. We get shower scenes where guess what, people naked. You get sex scenes where you see nudity and you get appropriate language too. I've already mentioned the gore but it feels justified because the film bears everything.
Now let's talk about the humour and satirical aspects. "Starship Troopers" shows the folly of blindly following the call to war and pokes fun at the way the truth is twisted to entice the young to enlist. We get commercials, propaganda speeches and mini documentaries on how twisted this world is. How you need a permit to have children, you're not allowed to vote without having served in the military, how insensitive people have become to death and how violence is seen as the principal solution to all of this society's problems. You get some really funny bits that will catch you off guard because it's so in-your-face. One of my favourite sequences involves soldiers showing off their guns to a bunch of excited schoolchildren, who end up fighting over who gets to play with it first, all for the sake of the TV camera. There are some really good one-liners that are memorable (Everyone fights, no one quits. If you don't do your job I'll shoot you myself) and quotable (Come on you apes... You want to live forever?!). Those make it a blast to watch with your friends.
Is "Starship Troopers" cheesy and ridiculous? Oh you bet it is. But it's intentional and that really balances out how overpowering the bloodshed would be if you weren't laughing at the madness of it all. Some of the acting is good, some of it... not so much but it moves quickly and it's a lot of fun. If you don't like violence and black humour, you'll be perplexed as to why people like the film but if this is what you're craving, the fact that it won't be for everyone is what will make you appreciate it even more. Call me a cultist, but I can't get enough of "Starship Troopers". (On Blu-ray, February 23, 20
still holds up, lots of "borrowing" from Tokyo Gore Police in the tv spots
In a future where humans are colonizing planets, we come in contact with an alien species that we simply call "Bugs" due to their insect like features. John Rico is a high school student who decides to enter to the military to fight this "Bugs" and save the human race.
You know what's the result of combining the 80īs action movie vibe with all the characteristics of a sci-fi B movie, and having Paul Verhoeven at the helm of this project? The result of this peculiar mashup is exactly what this film is. "Starship Troopers" is a film that has dreadful acting, a campy screenplay, dialog that's straight out of those 80īs action films, uneven special effects (most of the time they look quite impressive for their time but at certain moments it suffers from a noticeable quality downfall), certain plot points are exactly what you would expect from a soap opera, the characters are nothing more than laughable stereotypes, the costume design looks extremely cheap, the action sequences are fun to watch but surprisingly lackluster, the alien designs are memorable, and half of the film is a laughable high school storyline. With all that being said you will assume that this film is awful but that's when Paul Verhoevenīs style comes to save this B movie. The over the top violence and his satirical take of propaganda and the military work marvelously and are the main reason this film works. This fascist take of propaganda and society is both shocking and fun to watch/hilarious. But unlike "Robocop" here the satire is taken to a level where it is no longer a welcome addition to the experience but what makes this film campier that it should be. Verhoeven didn't get the balance this time.
"Starship Troopers" is a film that you will enjoy if you are into Paul Verhoeven, satire, 80īs action films or B movies in general. It's a film that wasn't meant to be taken serious but was made for the sake of entertaining its audience. The weakest film of the "Verhoeven trilogy" but it still is a film that guarantees a fun time and will definitely make you laugh. One of my favorite B movies.