Film: Starship Troopers

Cover image
Film:

Starship Troopers

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Honors:
Genres:
Distributor: Sony Pictures

In the first and finest RoboCop movie, director Paul Verhoeven combined near-future science fiction with a keen sense of social satire—not to mention enough high-velocity violence to satisfy even the most voracious bloodlust. In Starship Troopers, Verhoeven and RoboCop cowriter Ed Neumeier take inspired cues from Robert Heinlein’s classic sci-fi novel to create a special-effects extravaganza that functions on multiple levels of entertainment. The film might be called “Melrose Place in Space,” with its youthful cast of handsome guys and…

Reviews

Amazon.com

In the first and finest RoboCop movie, director Paul Verhoeven combined near-future science fiction with a keen sense of social satire—not to mention enough high-velocity violence to satisfy even the most voracious bloodlust. In Starship Troopers, Verhoeven and RoboCop cowriter Ed Neumeier take inspired cues from Robert Heinlein’s classic sci-fi novel to create a special-effects extravaganza that functions on multiple levels of entertainment. The film might be called “Melrose Place in Space,” with its youthful cast of handsome guys and gorgeous women who look like they’ve been recruited (and in some cases they were) from the cast of Beverly Hills 90210. Viewers might focus on the incredible, graphically intense action sequences (definitely not for children) in which heavily armed forces from Earth go to off-world battle against vast hordes of alien “bugs” bent on planetary conquest. The attacking bugs are marvels of state-of-the-art special-effects technology, and the space battles are nothing short of spectacular. But Starship Troopers is more than a showcase for high-tech hardware and gigantic, flesh-ripping insects. Recalling his childhood in Holland during the Nazi occupation, Verhoeven turns this epic adventure into a scathingly funny satire of fascist propaganda, emphasizing Heinlein’s underlying warning against the hazards of military conformity and the sickening realities of war. It’s an action-packed joy ride if that’s all you’re looking for, but Verhoeven has a provocative agenda that makes Starship Troopers as smart as it is exciting. The DVD includes an above-average commentary by the director and Neumeier, several deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes documentary and promotional featurette, cast bios, production notes, and more. —Jeff Shannon

A gloriously over-the-top treat, Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers takes the militaristic moralising of Robert Heinlein’s pulp classic and sets about undermining it mercilessly. Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien) desperately wants to join the Mobile Infantry and kill some Earth-threatening alien bugs. He also desperately wants Carmen (Denise Richards), but only gets to fulfil one ambition in the second of Verhoeven’s futuristic satires (also cowritten with his RoboCop scriptwriter Ed Neumeier).

Set in a fascistic future where kids must do military service to qualify as citizens, own property or even have babies, the film’s dark Vietnam and Nazi-era parallels are all the more disturbing given its deceptively sunny Beverly Hills 90210 teenage cast (though scenery-chewing veteran Michael Ironside steals the movie as tough-talking Lt Rasczak). The CGI arachnids are among the most convincing and dangerous-looking creatures ever seen on screen, and with the movie clocking up the highest number of blanks ever fired on a film set, it’s also pretty loud! Verhoeven went on to be Executive Producer of the Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles animated TV series a couple of years later. —Paul Tonks

Related Works

Book:Starship Troopers

Starship Troopers

Robert A. Heinlein

Starship Troopers is a classic novel by one of science fiction’s greatest writers of all time and is now a Tri-Star movie. In one of Heinlein’s most controversial bestsellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the universe—and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against mankind’s most frightening enemy.

Views: 653 • Modified: • Elapsed: 0.043 sec