Starship Troopers - A Good Movie?

Now if I can only wash away the horrible, painful memories of Robocop II and Robocop III, I will die a happy man. Good god. What were they thinking?

We have something in common, then. I’m president of The Roland Emmerich Must Be Slowly Impaled club. We should join forces.

the bugs firing that icy stuff out of their butts

Next christmas, I’m getting you a thesaurus, my good man.

I liked it as a “light” movie. But as science fiction, even moderately fluffy science fiction, I didn’t think the movie made any sense at all. The thing that bothered me was the weapons of the mobile infantry (MI). Here we have the human race capable of faster than light travel and colonizing far off stars but the best weapons our infantry have basically look like the same M16s we’re using now. This made zero sense to me. I understand Verhoeven originally experimented with trying to recreate the powered armor from the book, but decided he couldn’t pull it off.

When I watched it in the movie theater, I thought it was a huge dissappointment, largely because of how the mobile infantry was handled. However, I have since watched it on video and once I got past the MI weapons, I thought it was a fun movie. It still made zero sense, from a scifi perspective though.

Here we have the human race capable of faster than light travel and colonizing far off stars but the best weapons our infantry have basically look like the same M16s we’re using now.

Worked for “Aliens,” though. In fact the weird anachronisms of that film were among its standout features when I first saw it. It was so far removed from the Buck Rogers ray-gun cliches. True, it’s all probably unrealistic, but then so is most sci-fi.

What have you people been smoking? The only thing this movie had going for it was Phil Tippet’s creature designs (I hear they’re letting him direct a sequel). Otherwise it was, like all of Verhoven’s movies, a pathetic piece of absurd trash. I swear to god this guy constructs every movie around some sexual fantasy of his. In Starship Troopers it was the uni-sex shower. In Hallow Man it was voyuerism. In Robocop it was cocaine and hookers. In Showgirls and Basic Instinct, well, duh.

Starship Troopers was god-awful, and I thought so well before I ever read the book, so I’m not just mad about how it was adapted, I’m genuinely disgusted by the quality of the writing, acting and execution.

I mean, you really have to go out of your way to fuck up something as sure fire as a movie based on the book. What the fuck was up with that weird futuristic version of arena football? What purpose did that serve in the movie, other than looking stupid? Couldn’t they have, like, hired some military advisors to tell them how stupid it was to have all these unarmored grunts running around on planet in bunches waiting to get torn apart by swarms of bugs?

If you take out the nudity, this movie had no reason to exist. And don’t tell me I didn’t get it, cause I did. I just thought it was stupid. And the propaganda film format was not nearly so clever as the producers must have thought.

Robocop is far from a “pathetic piece of absurd trash.” It’s a solid, fun action movie that also has some good satire of ‘80s corporate culture. The Ed-209 scene is hilarious (“I’m very disappointed in you!”); Ronnie Cox and Kurtwood Smith make great villains; and the scene in which Robocop wanders through his former house is hauntingly evocative. Murphy’s execution remains one of the most genuinely shocking moments of violence I’ve ever seen in a movie. Miguel Ferrer does a hilarious turn as the soulless executive who creates Robocop, but whose ethics are even worse than the villains’. I can think of maybe 5 action movies in the '80s that are superior. Raiders of the Lost Ark. Die Hard. Aliens. Um. Make that 3, offhand. And personally I prefer Robocop to Die Hard. Oh, I just thought of Terminator. So that’s 4.

Verhoeven’s films have a lot of crass sex and violence, and he’s made some real clunkers (Showgirls and Hollow Man are terrible, Basic Instinct is deeply flawed, and Total Recall is IMO mediocre). But his talent as a director should not be ignored. Visually and stylistically, he’s light-years beyond hacks like Bay, Emmerich, etc. (Though he doesn’t get the credit for Robocop’s fine screenplay – that’s the work of writer Ed Neumeier.)

I swear to god this guy constructs every movie around some sexual fantasy of his.

So did Hitchcock, as often as not. It’s not a criticism. When it comes to film directors, I’ll take a talented pervert over a well-adjusted mediocrity any day of the week.

I’ll put my hand up for the ‘ST was good fun’ camp. The ‘90201 in Space’ aspect was annoying but I thought the neo-fascist approach was interesting (I also thought Doogie Howser as Himmler amusing). Of course, it was the battle scenes that made the movie. The Zulu-like stand at the overrun base, the ships breaking up, the dropships coming in- great stuff. The book was enjoyable but I couldn’t see a movie being faithful to the tactics involved in it (i.e. Each squad spread miles apart).
Oh, and I absolutely agree that Denise Richards should have had a shower scene cameo.

I also enjoyed Starship Troopers. It was a great B grade sci-fi film. The acting was hilarious though. I am sure they made a special prosthetic smile for Denise Richards to wear throughout the film.

I loved the special effects and battle scenes.

My favourite actor in ST was Dina Meyer - what a babe ! I notice she is also in the latest Star Trek film as a Romulan.

Overall a great mindless but enjoyable sci-fi romp.

As for the original Heinlein book - what a confusing mess of a story. I have read it three times and still shake my head.

To the everlasting glory of the infantry,
Shines the name! Shines the name of Roger Young!

I think that when I was younger, I actually looked up Roger Young’s Medal of Honor citation too.

What I never got is why the hell all those spaceships had to cluster together like that in orbit? Uhhh… hello? Space is like, HUGE? Spread out a bit, that way when the energy farts come flying up from the surface, they won’t hit something and cause the dying ship-crashing-into-other-ship chain reactions that seemed to happen every 5 minutes.

I don’t think she does nude scenes. I’m pretty sure they used a body-double for the three-way scene with Neve Campbell and Matt Dillon in Wild Things. Now that was a fun movie…

The Starship Troopers movie was, beyond the CG bugs, a complete waste of film. Worse than that, actually, because it might put quite a few people off reading the book - thinking that they are in some manner related.

Heinlein has some rather valid points about society and world government in his book. You can look at it and say “oh, they’re facist nazis” but they aren’t. In the movie, yes… and that’s the damage of the movie because now we’ve got visions of doogie howser in a trenchcoat looking like an Imperial Commisar from WH40k in our minds cementing the “nazi connection”.

Heinlein’s main points in the book:

  1. Only those willing to live a portion of their lives - and potentially forfiet their lives - for society are fit to wield the decision-making power in that society.

  2. Let the punishment fit the crime. Public pain and humiliation are far better corrective actions than incarceration. Incarceration has little effect on behavior modification, whereas pain and humiliation creates a definite negative-reinforcement situation that prevents repetition of the crime by both the guilty party and also those who witness their fate.

  3. Public education is an indoctrination process, by which the government teaches the history and values from the most self-serving point of view. The goal is to manufacture obedient workers and fighters. Creativity is valued in the context of how it serves the state, and is not a commodity that has inherent value unless it is applied.

  4. Society is an organism. Humanity as a whole is contrasted with the bug’s organization and motives - and the only real difference is that humanity is complicated by the individual drones having a sense of individuality. However, humans sacrifice mass numbers without concern for the value of the individual just like the bugs do - but only the inhuman can do so with a perfectly clear conscience.

  5. The human organism and the bug organism - being their collective entities - are both territorial, aggressive, and see the utter destruction of anything outside thier own species as the only acceptable fulfillment of their survival drive. The only peaceful existence possible is when you’re the only thing that exists.

  6. Any species faced with something they do not understand, will see destruction as the solution.

I don’t think she does nude scenes. I’m pretty sure they used a body-double for the three-way scene with Neve Campbell and Matt Dillon in Wild Things. Now that was a fun movie…

I dunno, I think it’s really her. Not that I’ve, er, downloaded video freeze frames of the scene and examined them closely or anything. ahem

Monster thread necro coming in!

Good news for our German members: After 20 years Starship Troopers has finally been removed from The Index. So it is no longer considered harmful to our kids. Now the FSK is free to rate it according to the current standards and then normal retail releases will follow.
The review time defined by the law is 25 years. Somebody must have convinced the BPjM to review its decision earlier. Probably whoever holds the German distribution rights.

Both good and bad is the following detail: Starship Troopers has a sensationally good German loca … which is heavily censored. AFAIR they invented a “first bug war” to make it look as if the bugs were the aggressors and they removed the “only soldiers are citizens” thing. :/
I doubt they can solve this dilemma.

I happened upon the movie a couple weeks ago and was surprised how well some of the special effects held up. The rest of the movie is pure Friday night boys night out stuff.

The redlettermedia re-view on Starship Troopers is one of my favourite things they’ve ever done:

If it was pure combat with a bit of sex thrown in for fun I wouldn’t have minded it at all. It just felt to me like the director despised the source material and felt the need to mock his own movie.

More like mocking several of the underlying assumptions in Heinlein’s novel, but it’s not really out of character with he tone of his other movies anyway.

Yeah. Verhoeven understands the book. He just chooses to send it up as the fascist piece of garbage it is.

To be sure, the book’s politics are not worthy of reverence. But much as I despise Ayn Rand, I still don’t want to see a self-mocking version of Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead. Surely there are better things to do with however many millions of dollars the movie cost to make.