Sunday, March 15, 2009

Starship Troopers (1997)

"Starship Troopers" is directed by Paul Verhoeven, and is about a group of high-school people whom graduate and join the military, in order to exterminate the alien bugs that wish to destroy humanity. The story follows the fate of Johnny Rico, whom enlists with the infantry, in his quest to fight the invading bugs, but Johnny occasionally meets up with several other classmates, whom have taken different routes through the military - one of his classmates is a pilot, another works for military strategy.

I had watched "Starship Troopers" quite a while ago, before I was deep into the science fiction genre. I had enjoyed the film, and decided to watch it again to see how it held up. I remembered the explicit violence and the excellent special effects, and these did not dissapoint. The spaceships, the planets, and the plethora of insects look excellent, the violence was explicit, like the other Verhoeven films that I have seen (Robocop and Total Recall, both of which are quite enjoyable as SF-action movies, but not overly unintelligent, either.).

However, I had not been able to appreciate the undercurrent of satire of facism and military government at the time, and this elevates it above most recent SF films released today. There are scenes like a legless man saying: "serving in the infantry made me the man I am today". Or a trial that has the judge immediately declaring the defendant guilty, and the execution advertised straight afterwards. It's scenes like this that make the movie far more than merely a dumb science-fiction flavoured action movie, which is much appreciated.

So, "Starship Troopers" is an enjoyable SF-action movie with an undercurrent of satire. Recommended. 5/5.

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