In the future, kids go to a futuristic school in Buenos Aires. When
alien bugs launch asteroids at Earth, young friends join the military
to fight the threat.
In boot camp, young Rico finds his strength and decision-making ability
tested. Meanwhile his high school honey goes to flight school, receiving
training from Rico's football rival.
Rico and his fellow troopers fight alien bugs, receiving devastating
losses. When Rico's former Drill Instructor captures the alien bug
ruler, the tide is turned in the battle against the bugs.
Even though it is flawed, it is fun. Director Paul Verhoeven's "Starship
Troopers" is a well made, if sometimes gross Science Fiction action
As the lead trooper Rico, Casper Van Dien is a great looking guy
who's rather weak in the acting department. His handsome looks, healthy
pompadour, and firm jaw line bring to mind the young Robert Conrad.
Jake Busey offers fine support as Rico's trooper buddy. With appearances
in both "Contact" and "Starship Troopers," Busey is turning into something
of a Sci-Fi regular.
Michael Ironside makes a strong impression as a teacher turned military
leader. Ironside played a convincing bad guy in Verhoeven's "Total
Neil Patrick Harris plays a guy with E.S.P. who rises through the
ranks of military intelligence. Harris's character has the most convincing
character arc, transforming gradually from a "Doogie Houser"-like
innocent to a jaded and grizzled veteran.
"Starship Troopers" offers gross bugs of various sizes and configurations.
The smaller ones, a bit like jumbo praying mantises, frequently computer
generated, are quite convincing. Giant beetles, however, which burst
up out of the earth, resemble the mechanical props they obviously
are. Creative Visual Effects Supervisor Phil Tippett gets the credit/blame.
The film offers a variety of spaceships and mini-shuttles, featured
in some impressive and convincing space warfare. Spaceship Visual
Effects Supervisor Scott E. Anderson gets the credit.
The Music, by Basil Poledouris, is bold, rousing, and a bit obvious.
Considering that Verhoeven presents the movie as a kind of futuristic
recruitment film, the music is probably just right.
"Starship Troopers" biggest flaw is that, when all is said and done,
it's just a kill the big bugs movie. While his "Robocop" contained
social commentary, and "Total Recall" had things to say about identity
and the difference between reality and illusion, "Starship Troopers"
BIG THOUGHT is that the only good bug is a dead bug.
"Starship Troopers" should be fairly watchable for many Sci-Fi viewers.
Those who find bugs or gross-out effect creepy should steer clear
of this film.