click here to see our uploads list
click for new
Film Reviews, Festivale movie section, a reel life
click here for current front page

Festivale February, 1998

Starship Troopers movie review

Starship Troopers, advertisement Starship Troopers

Dumbship Troopers

For those of us who are visually oriented, this film looks great. Spaceships galore, thousands of giant anorexic rhinoceros beetles attacking extras, big fat bugs the size of Kenworth trucks spitting some kind of fire-acid stuff at soldiers and other bugs as big as houses are farting plasma into space to nail the orbiting starships (I kid you not).

There is also some good gratuitous nudity and a brainy bug that looks like Godzilla's haemorrhoid. For the bloodthirsty there are gutted bugs, decapitated, maimed and dismembered extras strewn around the place and nuclear grenades carefully designed so that main characters can outrun the blast. For fascists, there's a future world where, it seems, the RSL (Returned Serviceman's League) threw a planetary coup d'etat and turned the world into a place where only surviving cannon fodder can vote. (I know that part was in the original Heinlein book, but I'm reviewing a movie here, not a novel.)

Unfortunately, for an intelligent viewer, there's not a hell of a lot. Riddle me this, Batman. You've got a solar system full of bugs who are (without having any visible presence in space) lobbing asteroids through hyperspace at the Earth. What do you do? logo
Search for:
UK's largest videos store
If it was me, or anyone who'd ever read an issue of Analog, you'd lob around fifty times as many asteroids back at the bastards until their planets glowed like jack o'lanterns. Or you'd whack them with some really mean nanotech disassemblers that specifically attack organic material. Or you build a bloody big gamma ray laser and destabilize their sun or you simply strap some boosters to the asteroid belt that, for some reason, seems to be orbiting their home planet and use their own weapon against them.

Not in this film. They sit a fleet of spaceships within striking distance of the surface and send down ground troops en masse, killing 100,000 of them in the first wave of attack. Meanwhile, up above, the starship captains think that the big flares coming up from the planet are just like fireworks and as harmless as the New Year's Eve display on Sydney Harbour. Until the pyrotechnics start setting their spaceships on fire. (Yep, fire in a vacuum.)

The acting is competent, though, as my friend Jamie Reuel pointed out, everyone had big bright teeth that they flashed at every opportunity. But there's no real humanity in this film. It's empty of everything we know about people. Friends and lovers are chewed up by bugs and ten minutes later, are forgotten. Hatred of the enemy and reckless bravery are held up as virtues.

This is a fascist future that is so repugnant that there were moments where I wished the bugs had've bombed more than just Buenos Aires. Maybe it's because all the human qualities I've been coming to terms with all my adult life; fear, aggression, hatred, jingoism and xenophobia, are glorified here.

Starship Troopers will play well to fifteen year old boys, if they can sneak in to see it, and to those who haven't progressed since they were fifteen. This is cinema for the mindless. Unfortunately. I may be naïve but I would've thought that if some companies were going to spend $US100 million on a film, they'd perhaps consider getting someone like William Goldman to write the script and make it work.

I had much more fun watching Verhoeven's Showgirls. That flick was a weird combination of soft-porn and All About Eve. It was no less dumb than Starship Troopers but there was more fun in the dumbness.

Click here to buy films from one of the online stores in Festivale's on-line shopping mall Terry Frost
Send your comments or review New! Phil's Games Room for reviews of PC games

click here

Enter movie, TV show, or person
Provided by Internet Movie Database.
Just the facts:

Title: Starship Troopers
Running time: 129 minutes
Written by: Ed Neumeier, based on the novel by Robert A. Heinlein.
Directed by: Paul Voerhoven

The Players: Johnny Rico: Casper Van Dien Dizzy Flores: Dina Meyer Carmen Ibanez: Denise Richards Jean Rasczak: Michael Ironside Ace Levy: Jake Busey Carl Jenkins: Neil Patrick Harris Sgt. Zim: Clancy Brown
For session times of current films, use the cinema listings on the Movie links page. For scheduled release dates, see the coming attractions section.
Bookmark and Share

Like us on facebook

A Reel Life, the Festivale film sectionMovie Reviews IndexClick here to go to our links to movie sitesContact us at Festivale
Movie images, sounds, and video clips are solely owned by their respective companies.
No other uses are permitted without the prior written consent of owner.
Use of the material in violation of the foregoing may result in civil and/or criminal penalties.


Festivale Online Magazine
Celebrate everything!

ISSN 1328-8008
Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
disclaimers | contact the editor | Festivale revision history

: Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia : copyright © Festivale 2009 All rights reserved
Filed: 4-Feb-1998 : Last updated: : Last tested: 3-Jul-2014: Last Compiled: 3-Jul-2014
Entire site refreshed: Dec 2008-Feb 2009 | Site URL transferred: Jan 2005 (previously

Report a bug

upcoming movie releasesIndex of movie reviewscontents of current issueA Reel Life movie section