Starship Troopers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Starship Troopers Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ November 25, 2015
I give it a solid 3-3.5. A military, Nazi-esque propaganda film, as if from within the deranged universe [that we never really see] that the film takes place in. Likely with the intent of recruiting new troopers. On this level of old-style, unsubtle propaganda, I suppose it is successful. However, although that makes the film clever, it does not mean I overly enjoy or connect to sitting through such propaganda pieces. It was reasonably enjoyable but its limits as a film are directly proportional to its success in what it aims to do. As a pro-military [satire-played-straight] piece it eschews nearly all sensitivity and can be gruesome and disturbing in the thoughtless violence. Again, though, this is a success going by the premise of the existence of the film. As an aside, it is noteworthy and actually genuinely admirable the gender neutrality/equality of the film in terms of the portrayal of the characters within the film... I find it fantastically refreshing the way that was played out. So strange, for such a backwards-looking film to have such a forward-looking idea played so well. In any case: the film is solid but its enjoyment has limits set by its very premise.
½ February 25, 2013
"Starship Troopers" is a bloody, violent, over-the-top, sometimes revolting action film that's also very funny and intelligent in its satire. When I say violent, I mean it. This is a Paul Verhoeven film! People get burned alive and melted by acid, shot in the head, decapitated, dismembered, stabbed, disembowelled and all sorts of other horrible bug related deaths. There is so much carnage and so much pureblooded jingoism that it can't be mistaken for anything but a comedy.
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
October 31, 2015
Cheesy and gratuitous by design, Starship Troopers is the greatest satire of jingoist propaganda ever filmed. It's nearly prophetic, and far more relevant to the paranoia of the post-9/11 world than to the peaceful optimism of 1997.
½ October 26, 2015
Where to begin with this one..? It's bad, in many ways, but not a full out stinker. Truly wooden acting (how the hell did Casper Van Dien get a role at all??? And don't get me started on Denise Richards.), questionable message and lame effects. Though I do not agree at all with the original novel's ethics and onesided discussion, maybe something truer to the source material would have been more interesting at least. If you want a somewhat lame scifi/action flick this could be your thing: if not, stay clear.
November 25, 2014
this film has everything, like everything!!! amazing film.
October 14, 2015
Pure entertainment. A+
October 11, 2015
Very entertaining pop-corn movie with everything in it to enjoy it.
September 29, 2015
An absolutely awesome cult classic and a great book adaptation. Blew my mind at the theater in 1997 and it still does.
½ September 21, 2015
Absurdly campy sci-fi action from the tail end Paul Verhoeven's peak as a director. It's got all of his usual calling cards, too, amped up to a feverish degree. Wanton, egregious violence, complete with Spaghetti-o gore chunks and rent limbs, tossed carelessly through the frame like so many croutons in a cooking program. Dialog so silly it would've been rejected from the Sunday funnies, delivered with all the passion and subtlety of a knot-laden tree trunk. Not-quite-there CG, featured prominently throughout, and blunt, cringe-worthy humor, smeared over every inter-scene segue. In many ways it's worthy of applause, if just for casting aside the rulebook and giving in to total, uninhibited overindulgence. It certainly isn't a boring picture (well, excluding maybe ten minutes in the early third act) so it's got that going for it, and the creepy-crawly enemy creatures are appropriately strong throughout - even when it would've been easy to turn them into mere cannon fodder for the final battle. The scale seems all wrong, though, with the lead constantly tripping over familiar faces despite a sizable chunk of humanity being involved in the military offensive, and I never really cared for a single one of them. Although it offers a few interesting underexplored subcurrents and an admirable knack for ballsy action, I usually found myself laughing at this one for all the wrong reasons.
½ August 24, 2012
Very goofy and very dumb. Yet it's still fun to watch because of those reasons.
½ April 12, 2012
*UPDATE* has anyone noticed that all the women in this film are incredibly cute?
still holds up, lots of "borrowing" from Tokyo Gore Police in the tv spots
½ November 12, 2006
Excellent. A-grade movie
½ September 4, 2015
This movie has the worst acting ever... still it's got a good pace and some nice action. It's worth watching.
½ August 12, 2015
Been a long time since I've seen this and I still have a hard time reading it, but where in most cases that would put me off, in this case it just interests me more. It's definitely smarter than most people give it credit for, but I'm not convinced it's thaaaat smart. I can't tell if it's good at being satire and/or bad at being straight, but imma give it the benefit of the doubt because <3 Verhoeven. The plotting is pretty unambiguously clunky though. Still, it's a fun fresh flick that's got a lot of heart and humor, easy pacing, and smiles for days.
½ May 31, 2009
Good visuals, a breezy pace and some fun over the top style are nice. However, you just cannot ignore how utterly annoying and stupid the story and acting are. None of the actors can deliver their terrible dialogue with even a bit of skill and, while I am sure it is intentional, huge gaps in logic just make it hard to enjoy. Why are they just spraying these bugs with machine gun bullets blindly (and not aiming for the clearly defined weak spots) instead of using some cool futuristic and destructive weapons? Some mindless fun to be had, but nothing that will last for long.
August 9, 2015
Whilst the dialogue isn't perfect and the love triangle is cheesy and hysterical, starship troopers is one of the most hysterical and most action packed sci fi films I've ever watched littered with impressive effects for the time and an eerie presence of threat that you experience along with the characters.
½ August 7, 2015
Total guilty pleasure, but i still love it.
May 29, 2007
Even though it's too light for a science fiction film, I liked it a lot. The political messages here are obvious but they ring true, especially in today's world. There were some extraordinary special effects here for a film that was released in 1997. What dragged this film down is its first hour: the high school drama and romance didn't work for me. I know that the filmmakers were trying to establish the characters' innocence (or naivete, depending on how you see things) but an hour of it is a little too much. The film's last hour is amazing and it did keep my attention. I also liked the little interruptions such as the "if interested, continue" bit. It made me chuckle at times because of how ridiculous it is. If you like blood and guts, without edginess and darkness, this is the movie for you.
½ July 12, 2015
After two not so well received erotic films, Dutch director Paul Verhoeven decided to return to the science fiction genre and here we are, in the third and final instalment of what I like to refer as "The Verhoeven trilogy".
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.
July 2, 2015
With it's sleasy seriousness and random cast, it's nor efficient as a sci-fi nor any real action flick. Paul's motive behind this? Spit in the face of USA, and portrait their worldview in a downscale subtle way? I don't really know, but its damn funny to think that way. The film itself is as easy as eating popcorn if your mind is turned off.
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