Starship Troopers 1997 (1997) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Humans in a fascistic, militaristic future do battle with giant alien bugs in a fight for survival. Runtime: 129 mins Release Date: 07 Nov 1997
Starship Troopers is a subtle and insidiously subversive movie that proved frighteningly prescient in the wake of post-9/11 uberpatriotism. Both Heinlein's book and Verhoeven's film are valid and interesting political statements at opposite ends of the spectrum. Heinlein's novel was criticized as fascist at the time of its publication, and for all his obvious talent as a writer I'm inclined to agree. The movie is as much a sendup of the original novel as it is a satire of jingoist American politics. It really is a shame that despite the squeaky-clean heroes plucked straight <more>
from the soaps, the Mormon extremists, the multiple-amputee mobile infantry retirees and the propaganda shorts masquerading as news, the vast majority still seems to regard Starship Troopers as a stupid action movie and, for some reason, absolutely refuse to consider that it might be something more.10/10
One of my favourite films, this one.I love the way Verhoeven approached the idea of Man v Beast. Our "heros" are beautiful, white-teethed Americans, firm of body and morals; our villains are decapitating stick insects, cockroaches, and giant maggots. Yet who are the real heroes ?The white-teethed Americans are vacuous, shallow thugs. They are thrust into a war with the Bugs, whose planets, we are told, have been invaded by the Americans. The Bugs are justifiably annoyed. I couldn't help but laugh at some of the "Nazi" parallels drawn by other reviewers. What Verhoeven <more>
is putting across in this film is not a polemic against Nazi ideology, but an attack upon American Imperialism in the latter part of the last century. He is satirising American crusades against other countries, whose inhabitants are portrayed in the American press as no better than Bugs. Had Verhoeven wished to attack Nazism, he could have given the good guys German accents; he didn't, he gave them American accents. The "Nazi" symbolism as commented upon by other reviewers is not Nazi symbolism at all - it is totalitarian symbolism, full stop. It is right-wing, "bomb them back to the stone age" American totalitarianism.Why do I believe this ? Check out the scene where American kids are encouraged to stamp on cockroaches by an overly excited parent. Check out the high fives.Verhoeven has done a mighty job here. He has made a film which has great action, great cinematography, very cute women and boys and yet the film still manages to take the mickey out of the New Order in a very funny and effective manner.10/10
The negative buzz kept me from watching this film for awhile, but I'm glad I've seen it now! (by BrandtSponseller)
Based on the famous Robert A. Heinlein novel, Starship Troopers is set in a world of the future where militarism is the norm, largely because we've discovered alien civilizations of huge insect-like creatures and we're at war with them. The film follows a quartet of high school friends as they make their varied ways through the military.Starship Troopers is both a tongue-in-cheek satire of society and an intense sci-fi/action/war film filled with horror-like insect monsters and a healthy dose of graphic gore. That's a genre combination that will not please all viewers, especially <more>
if the tongue-in-cheek humor goes over their heads. For those more in tune with the genre melding, Starship Troopers promises a quick, edge-of-your-seat ride from the first moments to the last.The film can be looked at in three sections, with slight crossovers from one section to another. The first is focused on the social satire. The cultural differences of the future are given in mostly indirectly, and occasionally, the point is what hasn't changed, or perhaps what is currently per the film's setting in vogue as a retro element. The second and third sections could be seen as a sci-fi Platoon 1986 , with the second section focused on military basic training and the third focused on wartime. Like Platoon, the basic training scenes show order and a clear sense of purpose, while the wartime scenes show comparative chaos.That the film could be compared to something like Platoon shows that although director Paul Verhoeven and screenwriter Edward Neumeier are aware that the material could easily be seen as absurd, they have the chops to make it believable and suspenseful at the same time.This is not to say that Starship Troopers is a rip-off of any other movie. The film-making here is highly original, and we could almost see the entire film as a computer-based CNN-styled collection of wartime newsreels of the future. It remains quick, witty and intense throughout. My only regret is that they didn't incorporate Yes' song Starship Troopers in the score somehow.
It's all about the battle, not the enemy. (by Scott-4)
This movie is about war and militaristic society and its effect on mankind. I agree with Leonard Maltin the professional movie critic that everything is directly modeled on WWII battles and WWII movies.The enemy is irrelevant, and characterizing the enemy is not important. That is why we never get any explanation for why the bugs are attacking us, how their weapons work, etc.The movie is extremely gory to make the point that "war is hell", and war consists of a lot of "blood and guts". It is also making the point that our tolerance for violence is constantly <more>
accelerating. In this future world, it is no big deal to get stabbed through any part of the body, it is even a part of military training. Pain is of no concern, you simply call for "Medic!" and get on down the road.The movie does not try to be cute or funny. The viewer does not have to listen to the aliens being called all sort of combinations of cuss words by the heroes.The characters are realistic. They sometimes do the right things for the wrong reasons and vice versa. At times we are not sure who is good and who is self-motivated.I also liked the shower scene. Just the concept of 19 year-old, physically-fit, men and women casually showering and bunking together is fascinating.It is obviously one of those movies that you either love or hate.
An author by the name of Samuel Delaney once wrote a piece on the book "Starship Troopers", stating that as a young, gay, black man, the novel made him feel better about himself. He acknowledged that the book was basically a chauvinistic macho adventure, but pointed out how deftly author Robert Heinlein had fooled the reader into living the adventures of a dark-skinned man. You don't find out that the novel's hero is coloured until halfway through.Heinlein's novel portrayed a gung ho, fascist utopia. In his future world, soldiers were more worthy than mere civilians, as <more>
they willingly placed their bodies between their loved ones and danger. The mere act of becoming a soldier gave a man status and honour, and allowed those who belonged to the "soldier caste" to eventually become politicians and decision makers. In other words, civic duty was encouraged. Give your life to your country and reap the benefits.Recognising Heinlein's sinister undertones, Verhoeven's film is thus pure Aryan propaganda. In Verhoeven's society, the world is controlled by a manipulative and totalitarian Nazi government who are bent on eradicating giant alien bugs Jews/Muslims who live in caves. We watch as a group of naive, perfectly sculpted teenagers, graduate from high school, turn into heroic soldiers, and promptly die in the most brutal ways imaginable. Verhoeven's children are ushered from High School to their graves, yet they keep on smiling. War is great. War is honourable. Only the young and the beautiful shall fight for the motherland. As such, Verhoeven structures his film as a German propaganda picture, ripping scenes from Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Wills" and inserting numerous John Ford "Why we fight" styled news reels.Heinlein was a naive libertarian who wanted total equality. His wars were waged by contemplative men and politicians who put their own bodies on the line. His soldiers weren't Kubrickian prostitutes, rather, they were men and women who sought honour and class. His soldiers used the military to better themselves and their society.Verhoeven, in contrast, has created nothing less than a total replica of a propaganda film, the film's goal being to recruit brainwashed young men and women who shall later be exploited by the mighty war machine.Like the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre towers, the film has a flashpoint attack on Buenos Aries which is used by the politicians to instigate war against the bugs. The propaganda snippets that lace the film all play off the emotions, fears and blood-lust generated by this singular event. The population does not know why the bugs hate them, so naturally they view the bugs as being one dimensional embodiments of evil "They have no brains!" one journalist yells . Only later in the film, in a throwaway bit of dialogue, do we realise that the destruction of Buenos Aries was an act of retaliation. In short, the bugs attacked us because we ticked them off and encroached on their land. Of course the folk back home have no knowledge of their government's intergalactic foreign policy. While post 9/11 America demanded vengeance and promptly rolled their hardware into the deserts of the Middle East, Verhoeven's futuristic society likewise gears up and ships out to the desert, fighting a patriotic war based on a lie.So though the film is bathed in Nazi symbols and nods to World War 2, Verhoeven's sights are firmly on America. Like all his Hollywood pictures, "Troopers" is an angry assault on its American audience. Verhoeven whips his adolescent audience up into a state of euphoria and blood-lust, treating them to nudity, gore and picture perfect Aryan supermen. Poster couples for white American purity, the audience almost expects the troops to gaze at each other and say "Look at us! We are so beautiful! We are going to make such wonderful, white American babies!" ie the ending of the fascist "Saving Private Ryan" And as the audience cheers, revelling in the battles, the heroics, the glorification of violence and the thrill of victory, conquest and patriotism, Verhoeven sits back and smiles.On screen, he's deftly depicted a society's conversion from innocence, humanity and tolerance, into the simplistic and ruthless political will to go to war. Off-screen, his unknowing audience behaves likewise, brainlessly lapping it all up. The audience gets caught up in the action and heroism, and never notices the fascism growing all around it."Starship Troopers" confused critics when it was initially released. But post 9/11, its violence, with its upbeat acceptance of humanity's warlike and genocidal alter ego, is now hardly a speculative reality check. Verhoeven's newsreel footage, rolling death toll counts and by-the-minute battlefield reports, now read very much like CNN's real-time news coverage of the second Gulf War.The film's statement that "the only good bug is a dead bug" perfectly echoes post 9/11 mindsets "the only good Al-Qaeda is a dead Al-Qaeda!" , the laments of idealists and intellectuals suddenly taking on an obnoxious tone to a now hysterical, spectacle-hungry public.8.5/10 - Early in the film, a veteran soldier remarks that figuring things out for ones self is the only freedom one truly ever has. Much of Verhoeven's American films challenge their audience to look beneath the superficial sex and violence, but few bother to do so. When so many Hollywood movies Star Trek, 300 etc are so openly fascist, how could they? It is now so immersive in so much of contemporary popular culture as to be virtually invisible- ideology at its purest.So on one level, Verhoeven's totally over-the-top cartoon sensibilities serve only to completely neutralize all satirical intent. Just because the film is self-reflexive, conscious of its portrayal of fascism, does not imply that it necessarily disavows it. The truth is, Verhoeven, in a sort of reflexively impotent fatalism, sadistically enjoys every moment of it in spite of all its horrors.Worth two viewings.
Leni Riefenstahl plus 21st century CGI. (by rctowns)
Verhoeven accomplished exactly what he set out to do; I deducted 1 point because the satire was just a little too subtle. Not his fault, really; he simply overestimated his audience's intelligence.American audiences have been ever more heavily propagandized in the 13 years since this film was released. With the rise of Faux News and their ceaseless pandering to the lowest common denominator, the average American is incapable of discerning the true nature of this film.It's not 'satire' - it's a cautionary portrayal of what happens to a culture that has lost its way and has <more>
been force-fed fear for half a generation. With stunning precision, it anticipated the Cheney/Rumsfeld/Bush agenda to use fear to collapse the American middle-class and create generations of cannon-fodder for the new corporate state.Look at any of Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propaganda films. Compare this to the sub-plot of 'Inglourious Basterds'. Verhoeven and Neumeier's deliberate revisioning of Heinlein's novel is pitch-perfect.
The more you watch it, the more you'll like it... (by Xophianic)
This is probably the dumbest movie I've ever enjoyed. This movie reminds me of The Fifth Element in two ways. One, it's a good movie that you may not like when you first watch it. And two, the movie is better if not taken seriously.First, let me get the bad things out of the way. The biggest thing is that the acting was really bad. Casper Van Dien Rico is probably the worst actor in the entire picture. The plot itself is a little predictable and the quick way in which they are resolved is a little corny. I also think that the Drill Sargent Zims becoming a private was a useless <more>
plotpoint, one you probably won't even catch. But this movie is still very funny. It is a little bloody, but still enjoyable. The enemy "bugs" are very cool, and the battles scenes in the movie are some of the greatest futuristic battles I've seen. Most of the characters, although badly acted, are still pretty cool. Especially the ones who survive for a longer time than the others I'd say go out and rent it when you're in the mood to have some fun. If you're looking for a serious but entertaining sci-fi movie, go see Star Wars or the Matrix instead.
Based on a 1959 novel, this high-action, ultra-violent science fiction film is great entertainment from director Paul Verhoeven Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Showgirls . Basically, in the distant future, giant bugs are overtaking the planet Earth, and only the mobile infantry stand in their way of total annihilation of the human race. Johnny Rico Sleepy Hollow's Casper Van Dien wants to become a soldier for them, just after finishing college, along with girlfriend Carmen Ibanez Denise Richards . It hits Rico when she is to become a pilot, and possibly never see him again, but also his <more>
home town of Buenos Aires is blown up just after he was quitting, but don't worry, he goes back, and he is determined to help kill all the bugs. So you can imagine most of the film, after the tiny romance story, is mainly just sending troopers onto parts of the planet, where the bugs hang out, and all hell breaks loose. You also find out, that as well as the horrific crawling and flying bugs, there is also the disgusting brain sucking, possibly head of the bugs, which at the end is probably the best key they have to finding the way to defeat the hideous creatures. Also starring Dina Meyer as Dizzy Flores, Jake Busey as Ace Levy , Neil Patrick Harris as Carl Jenkins, Clancy Brown as Sgt. Zim, Seth Gilliam as Sugar Watkins, Patrick Muldoon as Zander Barcalow, Total Recall's Michael Ironside as Jean Rasczak and Amy Smart as Pilot Cadet. The action is almost non-stop, the special effects of the space ships and bugs are very good, and of course, the over-the-top animated gore is sensational, just a great satirical science-fiction adventure. It was nominated the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. Very good!
This comment contains major SPOILERS.I have read and heard the most diverse comments on this movie, including "trash with bad acting and script", "good popcorn movie", and "tries to be smart but fails".What these comments had in common is that in my opinion they all missed the point completely.First of all, the casting of soap stars, the at times wooden acting, the lurid presentation... all this is totally intentional and it requires considerable skill from cast and crew to pull off in this way. Maybe they weren't skilled enough though because some viewers <more>
apparently still thought that they were watching substandard quality? While Starship Troopers can certainly be enjoyed only for the effects cool CGI spaceships and trademark Verhoeven OTT gore I think that maybe it shouldn't because that would mean ignoring its important message.As for those who were able to acknowledge that the film has in fact message and meaning but complained about it trying to constantly hammer home a point - yes, this is partly true, but I found it most intriguing how the picture works on much more subtle levels as well.An example: Basically the viewer realizes during the first few minutes of the movie that it is set in a weird kind of fascist utopia. It is not made hard for the viewer to disagree with this world order. Just think of all the blatantly jingoistic propaganda in the "TV ads" the story is interspersed with.So you watch for almost 2 hours, constantly thinking "why are they fighting this pointless war"....... and then the bugs kill Diz.OK, this is highly subjective, but at that point I kind of started to hate those bugs myself. Why Diz?? You just don't want her to die at this time in the movie.Anyway, _very_ shortly afterwards the militaristic organization that because of my emotional involvement I was now half-willing to accept as a necessary means to an end shows itself from its worst side: Colonel "Doogie Howser" Jenkins enters the room dressed like a Gestapo officer and talks about "mere numbers", not interested in the loss of his friends. Seeing what this initially likable character has developed into was just spooky! And finally, the end sequence with the capturing of the "brain bug". I just felt sorry for the poor thing and was disgusted by the cheering humans.But after Diz's death 10 minutes earlier I had been manipulated into wanting to cheer _with them_! Despite everything I had seen up to then!So watching in disgust as the brain bug was subjected to various bizarre methods of "examination" AND knowing that I had almost crossed the line of allying with its sick torturers I just felt.... weak and guilty.ST's odd mixture between SFX-rich space flick and cynical satire on 1940's war propaganda movies might be awkward in places. But it demonstrates how people can be manipulated to align themselves with ideas they don't originally agree with - by doing exactly that with the viewer! This I find quite remarkable and the strong anti-fascist message that is the result kind of makes this a serious film.For me this is one of Verhoeven's best, second only to Total Recall, and a solid 8/10. No, I haven't seen his Dutch films.