Starship Troopers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Starship Troopers Reviews

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February 14, 2016
One of the ultimate milennial movies.
February 13, 2016
In the 23rd century, Earth has become a space-faring federation. While colonizing new planets, humans have encountered an insectoid species known as Arachnids or "Bugs", with their home being the distant world Klendathu. The bugs appear to be little more than killing machines, though there are suggestions that they were provoked by the intrusion of humans into their habitats. In the federation, citizenship is a privilege earned by serving through such activities as military service, granting them opportunities prohibited to basic civilians. John "Johnny" Rico (Casper Van Dien), his girlfriend Carmen Ibanez (Denise Richards) and best friend Carl Jenkins (Neil Patrick Harris) attend high school in Buenos Aires. Fellow student Isabel "Dizzy" Flores (Dina Meyer) is in love with Rico, but he does not reciprocate. They enlist in the Federal Service after graduation. Carmen becomes a spaceship pilot assigned to the Rodger Young, while psychically gifted Carl joins Military Intelligence. Rico enlists in the Mobile Infantry expecting to be with Carmen, but is surprised to find Dizzy, who wanted to be near him. At Mobile Infantry training, brutal Career Sgt. Zim (Clancy Brown) leads the recruits. Rico is promoted to squad leader and befriends Ace Levy (Jake Busey). He later receives a Dear John letter from Carmen, as she desires a career with the fleet and serves under Rico's high school sports rival, Zander Barcalow (Patrick Muldoon). After a live-fire training incident that kills one of Rico's squad, he is demoted and flogged. He resigns and calls his parents, but the call is cut off when an asteroid, launched by the Arachnids, obliterates Buenos Aires, killing his family and millions more. Rico rescinds his resignation and remains with the Infantry as an invasion force is deployed to Klendathu...

Roger Ebert, who had praised the "pointed social satire" of Verhoeven's Robocop, found the film "one-dimensional," a trivial nothing "pitched at 11-year-old science-fiction fans." I personally didnīt like "Starship Troopers" when it came out and now when I gave it another chance my opinion hasnīt changed. The problem here is that Paul Verhoeven doesnīt manage to make this work satire wise, production wise nor value wise. Itīs such a b-movie with mediocre acting, bad green screen set ups, bad CGI and classic over the top Verhoeven goriness and I am not sure if that was the main point in Verhoevenīs head, but to me that is as failure as the script has interesting anti right-wing militarism and anti-violence angles, however everything falls to pieces as Verhoeven has put mediocre actors and actresses in the main roles and the so called satire only becomes cheesy and bad compared to "Robocop" and the interesting main plot ends up in the background due to the bad handling of the material. I simply donīt like the result and I believe it couldīve been so much better.
½ February 10, 2016
A crazy, gory 2 hour spectacle that boasts satirical themes of jingoism and fascism in U.S. foreign policy and the military, esp. when it comes to recruiting people.
February 4, 2016
this the great awfully good movie, is awfully but somehow managed to be a great movie. not many things can pull off such a feat.
½ February 1, 2016
One of the stupidest movies I've ever seen.
January 24, 2016
It's strength is it's weakness.
January 22, 2016
This "movie" is an abomination and an insult to both intelligent moviegoers and to Robert Heinlein's legacy. This "movie" bears only a passing resemblance to Heinlein's epic novel of the same title and the most amazing part is that more than one person looked at the script, the actors, and the special effects and said "yes, this will be a good movie and we should make it." The producers (I hope) have all gone bankrupt and learned their lesson. Paul Verhoven is apparently unrepentant and should probably be tried in an international court for fraud, crimes against art, and assaulting the good taste of moviegoers. Meanwhile, Heinlein is rolling over in his grave. I wish I could give this movie negative stars and also get that hour of my life back (I couldn't finish watching it).
½ January 22, 2016
Back in the day this film was considered a classic. The effects for the time were second to none. Nowadays they are almost comedic. I am surprised that Casper Van Dien didn't make a bigger impact in Hollywood as after this, I would have guessed that he would have gone on time bigger and better things. Denise Richards is as appealing as ever in this. On the flip side one would never have expected Neil Patrick Harris to make the breakthrough that he has had many years after this film aired. His role was demure to say the least. Worth watching to see how Hollywood effects have developed over the years.
January 16, 2016
I have no idea what this film was trying to be. The first hour offers genuinely great world-building [apart from the jarring juxtaposition of a white-out cast and a Latin American setting], and a truly gripping and unsettling allegory of military life and the horrors of war. The second hour does a complete about-face and turns the film into a gratuitous, glorifying war flick; a "satire of fascism" it could be argued, perhaps, but if this was Verhoeven's purpose he certainly doesn't make it clear enough, and can claim only a confusing, schizophrenic work. It's unfortunate that Netflix does not show ratings from RT or IMDB, as I frequently find myself hitting not completely terrible films, but really odd cases like this.
Perhaps the most useful thing I got out of watching this film was learning that it is loosely based on a novel by Robert Heinlein, and that Robert Heinlein also wrote Stranger In a Strange Land and is a bizarre pro-war fascist.
½ January 16, 2016
This is a strange futuristic world. Some sort of anti-star-trek. Campy and comedic. Women are equals, get to command, be open, and have access to guys showers. No, wait, the showers are unisex. Still a lot of this stuff feels like the roman empire army transposed in the future. Great effects. Superficial. A bit like having the point of vue of the english/roman invaders i suppose. And they will not change after they win. Like a bitter-sweet dish, fun and despicable.
January 10, 2016
Great B grade type movie solid story and cast - can watch over and over.
½ January 7, 2016
A 90's movie... that somehow has special effects that aged very well, and with some nice satires.

The acting is decent, some of the character aren't very well interpreted but you can see them growing and becoming better. For example, Rico changes from being a rich kid to a badass soldier, and you really see him getting better and better.

The special effects, aged well. The aliens look intimidating even when they have the graphics of a 2003-2004 videogame, but their roars and how they are rendered makes them intimidating. The fights have thrills too, you are worried about Rico and his people.

The plot, is kinda hit and miss. It's like a mix between a B-Movie and a drama, sometimes it takes itself seriously and sometimes it doesn't do it at all; I mean some characters even mock about some plot points.

The music is ok. The main theme is easily remembered, and the theme where they go down and fight the aliens for the first time is pretty dramatic and helps the scene. Too bad the rest of the soundtrack is not as good.

It doesn't matter if it is a bad adaptation of a book, it is a good movie on it's own.
December 28, 2015
This movie is atrocious, it promotes capitalism, militarism, and GENOCIDE! Gene Roddenberry would have had a heart attack had he seen this monstrosity. This s my second-most hated movie, only second to Titan A.E. Toxicity!
½ December 14, 2015
saw it back then. Liked it. Very young space soldiers battle giant insects.
December 13, 2015
I can watch this film forever! Robocop, Total Recall and Starship Troopers are 3 of the best.
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 November 14, 2015
"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
November 3, 2015
Hyper graphic SyFi flick
½ November 3, 2015
Always have enjoyed this movie. Just don't take it too seriously and it's an absolute blast!
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.
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