RiffMeter (94 votes)
This 1997 giant bug alien war flick was an adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s 1950s militaristic sci-fi novel of the same name, in the sense that director Paul Verhoeven later said he never finished reading the book, and in fact stopped after the first few chapters because it made him so “bored and depressed.” Inspiration, indeed! Whatever you think of the big expensive film he made—simply dumb and loud, or dumb and loud on purpose to make a point it’s a brilliant satire and I am TYPING IN ALL CAPS NOW—it’s definitely not boring or depressing. Go see The Lone Ranger if you’re looking for that.
Starship Troopers is the tale of young trooper Johnny Rico, played by Casper Van Dien, star of this and...well, some direct to video sequels of this, mostly. He’s joined in the war by Denise Richards, impossible to believe as a gifted starship pilot long before she was impossible to believe as a gifted nuclear scientist in that Bond movie. He’s also joined by the great Neil Patrick Harris, who is somehow much easier to believe as an intelligence officer with psychic abilities that help him communicate with the giant bug aliens. Throw in Michael Ironside, because duh, it’s a war movie, you’re gonna need Michael Ironside, and Jake Busey, because duh, he just showed up on set and wouldn’t leave, add a love triangle, heaps of alien splatter, and you’ve got the sprawling, great, goofy mess that is Starship Troopers!
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