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Rated R
Copyright 1997 TriStar/Touchstone Pictures
Reviewed by Max Gardner on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Johnny Rico - Casper Van Dien! Genocidal dumbass and soldier plagued with inexplicable promotions.
  • Carl Jenkins - Neil Patrick Harris! Psychic who gets recruited into a higher position than Rico.
  • Dizzy - This woman would get dizzy trying to screw in a light bulb. She wants Rico's ass. Gets a bug talon through the chest.
  • Carmen Ibanez - Denise Richards! Rico's sluttish love interest. Looks a bit... ...synthetic from the neck down.
  • Zander Barcelow - Rico's chief rival. Gets his brain sucked out by the brain bug.
  • Ace - Jake Busey! Recruit with absolutely enormous teeth.
  • Lt. Rasczak - Michael Ironside! Rico's commanding officer, until he gets his legs ripped off by a giant antlion.
  • Sgt Zim - Drill sergeant who demotes himself to private so he can go to the front.
  • The Bugs - Very large arachnids with a low moron tolerance.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Starship Troopers is actually a good movie masquerading as a really bad one; it was also wasted on ninety percent of its target audience, making it the most irritatingly misunderstood film I've ever seen. In a militarized future, humanity is at war with a race of giant arachnids upon whose territory they've encroached. After the bugs nuke Buenos Aires, our government finally decides to take some aggressive action. Johnny Rico and his merry band of idiots are sent to the front, where they get their asses trounced in about five seconds. They regroup, and decide capturing a brain bug would be their best course of action. Can Michael Ironside and Doogie Hauser pull it off? Let's hope not - I haven't seen such a misanthropic movie in all my life. The characters are morons, the relationships are shallow and perfunctory, and they're supposed to be. Come on, people - the propaganda video at the beginning of the movie is called "Why We Fight." That was the title of a WWII Anti-Nazi propaganda short. If you don't give a damn about satire and generally mean-spirited humor, there are still buckets upon buckets of gore, and some nudity thrown in for good measure - no one we'd ever want to see nude, unfortunately.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Humans invented art, mathematics and interstellar travel.
  • Doogie Hauser is a member of the Gestapo.
  • Ferrets are telepathic.
  • Women only mate with the best and dumbest football players.
  • Multiple amputees still endorse the military.
  • Humans will NEVER admit that another species is intelligent. That includes species that can hurl meteorites out of their asses and hit Buenos Aires from across the known galaxy.
  • Affection is displayed by saying, "OOUUGH!" and smashing your head against someone else's head.
  • Jake Busey playing a neon green violin is enough to ruin any romantic mood.
  • A civilian is stupid; a citizen is just more aggressive about it.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 2 mins - Kick ass, a whole platoon of idiots gets cut in half in the first two minutes of the movie!
  • 7 mins - That is painfully obvious, thank you...
  • 16 mins - Hey, that's a David Bowie song, only they changed the lyrics and it sucks.
  • 39 mins - Bitch.
  • 49 mins - Wonder how much AT&T paid for that.
  • 58 mins - Hey, they're in mobile infantry and they're getting tattoos that say "Death From Above."
  • 62 mins - Damn, I wish I could shoot meteors from my ass.
  • 90 mins - Multiple decapitations! Ugh, he left a smear...
  • 95 mins - Don't take the claw out, you imbecile.
  • 99 mins - It's Doogie Himmler!
  • 104 mins - Ouch! (Cut in half by an automatic door.)
  • 114 mins - Yeah, that arm would still work.


  • Angry Guy: "The only good bug is a dead bug."
  • Rico (After a fellow recruit gets his head blasted off): "MEDIC!"
  • Reporter: "Some say the bugs were provoked by the intrusion of humans into their natural habitat, that a live and let live policy is preferable to war with the bugs."
    Rico: "Lemme tell you something, I'm from Buenos Aires and I say KILL 'EM ALL!"
  • Sky Marshal: "We must meet the threat with our blood, our valor, indeed with our very lives, to ensure that human civilization - not insect - dominates this galaxy now and always!"
  • Scientist: "Frankly I find the idea of a bug that thinks offensive!"
  • Rasczak: "They sucked his brains out."
  • Rico: "Know what this is? Sure ya do - you're some kinda big, fat smart bug, aren't ya?"

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note startroopers1.wav Narrator1: "Join the Mobile Infantry and save the world!"
Green Music Note startroopers2.wav Angry Guy: "The only good bug is a dead bug."
Green Music Note startroopers3.wav Sky Marshall: "To fight the bug we must understand the bug, we can ill afford another Klandathu."
Green Music Note startroopers4.wav Lt. Rasczak: "This is for you new people. I only have one rule, everyone fights, no one quits. You don't do your job I'll shoot you."
Green Music Note startroopers5.wav Lt. Rasczak: "They sucked his brains out."
Green Music Note startroopers6.wav Carl Jenkins: "You don't approve? Well too bad, we're in this for the species boys and girls. It's simple numbers, they have more and every day I have to make decisions that send hundreds of people, like you, to their deaths."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipstartroopers1.mpg - 2.4m

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 2 3 [4] 5
Starship Troopers
Reply #25. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Ernst Bitterman
The only comment that I have about this show which hasn't already been quite excellently covered is this:

I'm not sure the MI in this show deserve artillery support, if they're so unprofessional that when the CO sticks his head in with an alert for two of his troopers (Rico and Wusserface who dies minutes later), finds them in flagrante, and rather than yell their asses off for wasting energy like that, SMILES INDULGENTLY and tells them they've got EXTRA TIME TO GET READY!  Errrr....

I think Paul Verhoeven must have taken a serious blow to the head just prior to filming (but, always remember, there's some screenwriters to heap blame on as well).  I thought the exterior scenes in space were pretty good.  If you haven't seen this yet, go rent the animated series; it's superior in many ways (better armour, slightly more professionalism, no giant lips on the actors, &ct).
Starship Troopers
Reply #26. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Lt. Col. Lance Shujumi: R.A. Heilein Fan
The Starship Troopers Film adaptation (Henceforth refered to as "Nazis in Space", it sure as hell ain't Starship Troopers) is the worst interpritation of Heinleins novel. The only thing "Nazis In Space" as in common with the Starship Troopers novel is the title and names of the characters, ships, and planets. Oh yeah, they keep the Bugs, however the bugs in the Novel are more intellegent.

Also the Government system portrayed in the book is more akin to the Athenian government, with Veterans the only ones alowed to vote. In "Nazis in Space", the govenment system is a Socialist Dictatorship.

Now we get to the Powered Suits, the vehicles that give the Mobile Infantry it's name. These magnificant Machines are left out of "Nazis in Space". Think "Top Gun" without the Fighter Jets, that's the same scenario you have with "Nazis in Space".

In conclusion: If you want to check out Heinlein's work, go read the book or watch a "Fansub" of the Japanese Animated version (Yes there is one out, but only in Japan). If you want utter crap that is a deviation from the book it's allegedly based upon, "Nazis in Space" is for you.

Lt. Col. Lance Shujumi
Robert A. Heinlein Fan
Terran M.I. TSS Macross
Starship Troopers
Reply #27. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by octo
well when i first saw the trailer the immediate thought was.. 'wow an aliens like story with more bugs and more guns (not they're any good)'

i quite enjoyed it at the time which was a long time ago! and i forgot about it, then they showed it on TV and then i thought..'wait a minute this ain't the same...', i then thought this movie was utter crap... the acting was pants and i agree with the above... the military should have kicked ass. there is also a cheesy factor involved that i don't like.
The only problem with the review is that there was a line saying theres some nudity but no one we want to c nude.. hmm i dunno, i quite liked dizzy NOT rico though lol... too bad dizzy had to die she had a certain sexy but mean b***h about her.
So to conclude... its an ok movie with some laughs, robocop like news clips inserted... er... actually its quite pants :P except for dizy hmmm lol
Starship Troopers
Reply #28. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by Juan Alberto Badia
Aguante Buenos Aires. Creo que los alienigenas la atacaron porque era la capital del mundo para esa altura.
Pierde mucho con la traduccion al ingles, mejor seria verla en su espaniol original.
(Buenos Aires rules. I think aliens attacked it because it was the capitol of the world by that time.
The movie looses a lot when translated to English, it would be much better to hear it in its original Spanish)
Starship Troopers
Reply #29. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Jon Ferraro
As I saw the film before reading the novel, I heartily agree that the film makers ignored the points Heinlein was making when he wrote Starship Troopers.  The Afrika Korps-style caps everyone wore gave me a chuckle ("Oh, they dress like Nazis, this must be a fascist society").  Several previous posts here already explain the socio-political points that I would have expressed had I seen this review sooner.
I have to chime in on the technical points of the film though.  As stated earlier, what happened to the ideas of, say, preliminary bombardment, air support (one incendiary raid by six bombers, and it's not even in support of ground troops?), armor, artillery, mobility (these guys drop in and then move about ON FOOT?), and tactics?  I should also mention the glaring discrepancy regarding technology in the film.  If I understand correctly, soldiers of the future carry hand-held nuclear weapons, travel between solar systems, etc... but they still use magazine-fed automatic rifles?  Nobody's developed more advanced small arms by then?  I'd love to know who controlled the allocation of military funding in the future portrayed in this bomb (pardon the pun).
One last note: the ship "Rodger Young" was named after a hero of the struggle on Guadalcanal (which took place in World War 2 for you history-class snoozers out there).
Starship Troopers
Reply #30. Posted on November 30, 2003, 01:10:34 AM by TheGreatWasabi
Good movie, but unfaithful to the novel, which was very good.  I agree that the movie should have had considerably more military units.  Some heavy assualt tanks, more nukes, mabye some king-sized starships with planetary bombardment capabilities...the computer game of Starship Troopers seem to have it all...
Starship Troopers
Reply #31. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Viseus
Are you people crazy? Of course the tactics are non-existent! It's satire! I can't understand how anybody can take this movie seriously. Why don't you criticize the tactical stupidity and unrealiztic depiction of Wile E. Coyote's road-runner hunting while you're at it? Come ON. This is a very funny movie which not only ridicules patriotic-militaristic-fascistic jerks, it also pokes fun of YOU audience who take it seriously.
Starship Troopers
Reply #32. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by Drew
The controversy over the book is if Heinlein really believed the society in it was a good one, or if he was making a point about how on the surface the society looks functional but in reality it is near facist and the populace just accepts it as a blessing.  Or is it a combination of the two?

Verhoven, in the movie, basically took the basic plot idea, but made it into an anti-facist satire.  Because of the realities of translating a book to film, and the fact that he set out to satire the society, he had to change the concept of the infantry from the powered armor that replaced tanks/artillary in the book to a more WWII infantry (Nazi parallel.)  Also, he showed that the individual soldiers acted  because of common, personal feelings that anyone in any society would have.  Meanwhile, the government misused or misdirected the outputs of these soldiers.  That is why a lot of the strategy sucks.  Earth was pompous and stupid at first.

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