Starship Troopers (DVD, 2003, Superbit)

129 ratings (121 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Very Good
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Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!

Apr 26, 2012
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Interesting premise

Cons:Somewhat stripped down.

The Bottom Line: Good to watch if it comes on TV.  Otherwise, don't bother.


Way back in 1997, when Starship Troopers came out, I don’t really remember hearing much about it.  I’m sure I did.  I just don’t remember it.  Through the years, people would tell me about it or I’d see part of it on TV.  I think I even sat down at one point and watched part or all of it.  I decided to sit down and watch it again with the intent of reviewing it.

The movie takes place in the future.  Humans are at war with a race of bugs, but not much is known about them.  They’re able to attack Earth by using gravity to send asteroids our way, but it’s never really stated how this works or why they use that particular attack.  We know so little about them that when we go on the offensive, we basically get slaughtered.

Johnny Rico wants to enlist in the military, despite his parents’ objections.  They want him to go to Harvard, threatening to cut Johnny off if he enlists.  He does and they do.  His test scores are so low that he’s assigned to mobile infantry, although his friends take different paths.  One, Carl, is psychic.  (However, I’m not sure if he’s really psychic or if he’s just very good at faking it.)  Carl ends up in military intelligence.

It’s not easy for Johnny.  He sees people get killed in training.  He and his friends start to drift apart.  Johnny even quits, but when the bugs destroy his home city of Buenos Aires, he’s very committed to fighting the war.  He’s in it for revenge, now.  It’s not an easy fight.  There are a lot of cases where humanity moves to a planet, either peacefully or to attack, and are all killed.  Humanity eventually triumphs, though.

The movie was based on a book and I’m not sure how well the story survived.  The movie seems somewhere between a war movie and a satire.  It’s almost like Mars Attacks!, but they were trying to be serious.  (I don’t know if that makes any sense.)  Certain aspects of the movie came across as somewhat goofy, like Carl being psychic.  There were also newsreel-style segments used to move the story along and give the audience some background.  They became more annoying as the movie progressed.  There’s also a drill sergeant that has no problem breaking recruits’ arms or putting a knife through their hands right away just to show them who’s boss.

It seems like a lot of the book was left out of the movie.  There’s no background on the war or the bugs.  If you want to vote, you have to serve in the military, but it’s not said what life is like if you don’t.  The bugs are said to be intelligent, or at least there are some intelligent bugs that can direct the other bugs.

The enemy is not shown as being mean or nice.  In fact, we don‘t get to see much of them at all.  They’re only shown when attacking humans.  I don’t recall if there was any attempt to communicate with them or if humans are just fighting with them.  Speaking of which, the movie is very graphic.  You get to see a lot of people being killed or dying.  This includes a few of the main characters.  I would not in any way recommend letting children watch this movie.

This is one of those movies that I have trouble recommending.  It’s not that I don’t recommend watching it, but I don’t necessarily feel compelled to recommend it.  It’s difficult to go one way or the other.  I don’t regret having seen it.  On the other hand, I see very little replay value.  I wouldn’t recommend buying it, but if it comes on TV, you might want to record it.


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