- Rated - HOT! HOT! HOT!
Starship Troopers is a very intelligent film. It is wonderful visually,
and it is action-packed. It should appeal to a very broad audience -
but with some notable exceptions. If you don't like violent movies or
movies which show bloodshed and the effects of war, don't see it. And
if your idea of a good movie is a romance, don't bother with this one.
But otherwise, make the effort. Don't assume you'll be seeing mindless
bloodshed and brain-dead action. You won't This is a film to make you
It is funny in sardonic sort of way. It looks like a high-tech
comic-strip: which is to say it looks fabulous. The lead actors are
right onto the intentions of the director (Paul Verhoeven, who directed
The Fourth Man, Robocop, Total Recall and Basic Instinct, among other
films). And those intentions are subversive.
And the bugs! They are terrific. What an appalling prospect - being
overrun by intelligent bugs! How it brings out some primitive fear in
us - an idea which is exploited brilliantly by Verhoeven and the
scriptwriters. I particularly loved the "brainy" bug. I imagine the
designers saying to themselves, "Now how can we make this bug
particularly repellent? I know, we'll make it a giant brain, with 14
eyes, an appendage that sucks your brain out, and an anus for a mouth!"
The screenplay is a gem: clever and wicked, and chilling. It was
written by Ed Neumeier (who co-wrote Robocop, and has written something
else very good recently, but I can't think of what it is!). The
original story comes from Robert A Heinlein, who wrote it more or less
"straight" - without any of the irony and sardonic wit that Neumeier
and Verhoeven bring to it.
For the movie buff, there is also the fun of picking the references to
other movies (such as Zulu ) and in particular World War 2 propaganda
films, such as the series Why We Fight, which Frank Capra produced and
many of whose films he also directed, as did Anatole Litvak. This
series made the unpleasantness of war into exciting entertainment, much
as Starship Troopers does. There's that Verhoeven intelligence again.
At the session I attended, there was an added piquancy. There was a
group of servicemen a few rows behind. It was fascinating listening to
their reaction, which veered from gung-ho cheering and wisecracking to
confused silence. Did they know that everything they stood for was
being sent up? I'm not sure, but they definitely enjoyed themselves!