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Has its moments, but doesn't really deserve the title

  • Nov 5, 2008
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 classic is not handled very respectfully, Director Paul Verhoeven's sense of satire coming across as being very out of place when I first saw the film. I was wondering if whoever owned the rights to the book knew what they were doing to the material, because I'm sure Heinlein would NOT have approved of the end result.

I've come to accept the satirical aspects of this film, but I don't understand why they'd mock the book, as opposed to making it into an actual movie. I get laughs out of this movie, the action is fun, though simplistic, but as an adaptation of the novel it fails on multiple levels. I put the novel down feeling it was one of the best books I'd ever read. When I left this film it felt like I did after every B-action film you see on an average basis; just nothing that left an impact on me like the book did.

Total Recall and RoboCop were both handled better in regards to mixing action, sci-fi, and satire. Starship Troopers tries hard to be those films, but ultimately fails. Even if it wasn't supposed to be an adaptation of that novel, it still doesn't have the charm of those previous Verhoeven films. They made us laugh at the depictions of society, as well as draw us in with engaging characters. You don't care about any of the characters here, because they're all cardboard cut-outs and clich├ęs, not worth anyone's time. Out of all the movies disappointed me, this one is up there as one of my biggest let-downs.

I really have nothing much left to say, other than I was incredibly disappointed by Verhoeven, and the production team for not providing a better film.

6/10 stars

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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.
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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) …
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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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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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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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