Set in the future, the story follows a young soldier named Johnny Rico and his exploits in the Mobile Infantry. Rico's military career progresses from recruit to non-commissioned officer and finally to officer against the backdrop of an interstellar war between mankind and an arachnoid species known as "the Bugs".
|Release Date||:||November 6, 1997|
|Genres||:||Adventure, Action, Thriller, Science Fiction|
|Production Company||:||TriStar Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Big Bug Pictures|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Director||:||Paul Verhoeven, Haley McLane|
|Writers||:||Robert A. Heinlein, Edward Neumeier|
|Casts||:||Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, Denise Richards, Jake Busey, Neil Patrick Harris, Clancy Brown, Michael Ironside, Patrick Muldoon, Seth Gilliam, Rue McClanahan, Blake Lindsley, Steven Ford, Ungela Brockman, Bruce Gray, Denise Dowse, Amy Smart, Tami-Adrian George, Julianna McCarthy, Dale Dye, Dean Norris|
|Plot Keywords||:||moon, total destruction, asteroid, space marine, liberation of prisoners, intelligence, buenos aires, space battle, dystopia, army, spaceship, soldier, drill instructor|
Based on the famous Robert A. Heinlein novel, Starship Troopers is set in a world of the future where militarism is the norm, largely because we've discovered alien civilizations of huge insect-like creatures and we're at war with them. The film follows a quartet of high school friends as they make their varied ways through the military.
Starship Troopers is both a tongue-in-cheek satire of society and an intense sci-fi/action/war film filled with horror-like insect monsters and a healthy dose of graphic gore. That's a genre combination that will not please all viewers, especially if the tongue-in-cheek humor goes over their heads. For those more in tune with the genre melding, Starship Troopers promises a quick, edge-of-your-seat ride from the first moments to the last.
The film can be looked at in three sections, with slight crossovers from one section to another. The first is focused on the social satire. The cultural differences of the future are given in mostly indirectly, and occasionally, the point is what hasn't changed, or perhaps what is currently (per the film's setting) in vogue as a retro element. The second and third sections could be seen as a sci-fi Platoon (1986), with the second section focused on military basic training and the third focused on wartime. Like Platoon, the basic training scenes show order and a clear sense of purpose, while the wartime scenes show comparative chaos.
That the film could be compared to something like Platoon shows that although director Paul Verhoeven and screenwriter Edward Neumeier are aware that the material could easily be seen as absurd, they have the chops to make it believable and suspenseful at the same time.
This is not to say that Starship Troopers is a rip-off of any other movie. The film-making here is highly original, and we could almost see the entire film as a computer-based CNN-styled collection of wartime newsreels of the future. It remains quick, witty and intense throughout. My only regret is that they didn't incorporate Yes' song Starship Troopers in the score somehow.