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Unsubtle? Au contraire: too subtle for its own good

  • Jun 24, 2001
Rating:
+3
Many punters watching Starship Troopers will miss Verhoeven's point. Rather than being a slightly post sell-by date space action flick, it's a spoof in the tradition of Zucker & Abrahams, although the slapstick is very deeply submerged in good old fashioned sci-fi hokum: Planet earth faces a barrage of asteroids being flung at it through hyperspace from a species of arachnids inhabiting a planet the far side of the galaxy, but the humans refuse to conceive that the bugs might be sentient, and (repeatedly) get a good pasting when they arrive to teach the bugs a lesson. The funniest scene is when a starship commander suddenly cottons on that the beams of destructive plasma which keep obliterating her squadron are being deliberately aimed and aren't just random!

Along the way we meet a set of bluntly-drawn, wafer-thin characters who have been sucked into enlisting into the infantry by the propaganda of Verhoeven's trademark all-intrusive Government, who get put through the mill in a terrific send up of the traditional Hollywood boot-camp.

The characters are too thin, though, and the film doesn't really work on any level except as a spoof, because you can't identify with - or like - them. Verhoeven toys with the idea of a love triangle, but even he can't be bothered drawing it out, and rather suddenly gives up on it half-way through.

Not a bad way to spend a rainy evening, but not likely to go down in the Motion Picture Hall of Fame either.

Nice special effects, though.

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More Starship Troopers reviews
Quick Tip by . October 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Ho hum, another space movie where humans have to kill things that look like bugs. But why should any one watch? Nearly everyone is pretty and the way Neal Patrick Harris is cast must be seen to be believed. There's worse ways of spending 100 minutes.
review by . December 01, 2009
A few hundred years from now Earth is on the brink of war with an alien race known as the Arachnids, or the "Bugs." Shortly after high school friends John D. (Caspers Van Dien), Carmen (Denise Richards), and Carl (Neil Patrick Harris) decide to join the military so that they may become "citizens," Buenos Aires is hit with an asteroid that originated from the Arachnid home world, and all war breaks out.      Starship Troopers is an over the top top ten futuristic …
review by . November 05, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Starship Troopers is a big budget action film set in a science-fiction based future where most of society is military based, and to be considered a citizen you must serve in the Terran Mobile Infantry. This is of course based on the classic sci-fi/military novel written by Robert A. Heinlein nearly fifty years ago, which was under the same name. The name is pretty much where the similarities between the movie and the book end.     The plot to this film adaptation of this sci-fi …
review by . May 13, 2000
Pros: Fun, action adventure     Cons: GORE extraordinaire     I really had no great expectations for this movie. I knew the era that the novel emerged from. We're not talking deep, philosophical fiction here, we're talking pulp sci-fi from the heyday of pulp-sci-fi. Starship Troopers could have been a comic book, but Robert Heinlein turned it into a novel.      I was excited when I heard about Starship Troopers. I thought "this will …
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Olly Buxton ()
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Wiki

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. InStarship Troopers, Verhoeven andRoboCopcowriter 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 ofBeverly Hills 90210. Viewers might focus on the incredible, graphically intense action sequences (definitelynotfor 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. ButStarship Troopersis 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 ...
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Details

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Release Date: November 7, 1997
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: May 20, 1998
Runtime: 2hrs 9min
Studio: Sony Pictures
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