Sunday, September 27, 2015

Starship Troopers

Movie Name: Starship Troopers
Year of Release: 1997
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards, Dina Meyer, Neil Patrick Harris, Jake Busey, Clancy Brown, Patrick Muldoon, Seth Gilliam, Michael Ironside, Rue McClanahan, Marshall Bell, Matt Levin, Blake Lindsley
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6
Watch it on Amazon.

Synopsis & Review:
Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, familiar with controversy surrounding his films (among his north american films are "Flesh + Blood", "Robocop", "Total Recall", "Basic Instinct" and "Showgirls"), was met once again with more criticism when his big budget sci-fi extravaganza, "Starship Troopers" premiered in 1997. The film takes place in the future, in a somewhat militarized society, and focuses on the story of Johnny Rico, a young man from rich families, who volunteers to the military, following the footsteps of the girl he's interested in, Carmen. The aim of this frantic increase of military force and strength is to engage war with an alien species (giant insects), who destroy everything in their path. Rico, Dizzy, and all of their colleagues and friends will be met with challenges both during training and on the field that will test their resilience and endurance.
Paul Verhoeven has always been a director who is able to subvert the most common and cliche ridden screenplay. He's interested in what truly drives and compels his characters (and men and women in general), and isn't afraid to showcase the less than estimable side of the human nature. Though seemingly miles away from David Cronenberg, in terms of aesthetic and focus, they both are driven by an interest of the human body, and how it relates to others and within themselves. "Starship Troopers" is based on the book by Robert A. Heinlein, and behind the facade of the big special effects extravaganza with lots of special effects and battles, Paul Verhoeven places concepts, and depicts how a fascist state coerces and manipulates their citizens. It's a film that takes the concept of an apparently innocuous entertainment, and introduces subversion and some disruptive questioning into our own society. The film ends up lacking more substance in terms of the cast, who with the exception of Michael Ironside and Neil Patrick Harris, are all quite mediocre. This is a somewhat underrated film from an interesting (and somewhat irregular) film maker.