It’s not every day that you get a two-hour thoughtless adventure that’s half political satire and part science-fiction picture. At least not in the days when Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers was released (1997). Yes, this is the same Verhoeven who directed Robocop and Total Recall, among other science-fiction ‘adventures.’ So, you already know what to expect: unrelenting bloodshed and engrossing entertainment.
The idea is simple: it’s the future, and a group of wealthy adolescents’ band together to join the military to serve their country. They had to defend America from extra-terrestrial bugs in this scenario. There’s sex, battleship scenes, and a tribute to friendship in this film. However, there is a strong undercurrent of political satire that borders on jingoism. Yes, depending on your point of view on the film, it may be either. If the director’s previous work is any indicator, he isn’t afraid to depict the type of irrational enthusiasm that war mongering inspires in people. So, he does the same thing in Starship Troopers.
The discussion is painful to listen to. But perhaps that was the goal, given how generic and outrageously OTT such words appear when attempting to portray oneself as the “stronger side.” Starship Troopers’ ability to parody the genre sets it apart from the pack of progressively mind-numbing sci-fi war movies. Whether consciously or unconsciously, the picture comes off as a self-reflective work that refuses to take itself seriously. After all, it is life, and no one is going to make it out alive, as they say. When you examine ‘this’ point of view, all of the major characters’ pretensions of bravado appear ludicrous.
According to Empire magazine, companies were hesitant to give filmmaker Verhoeven a huge budget after his picture Showgirls bombed. However, the filmmaker’s faith in the script finally persuaded them to lend the money. Another aspect of Starship Troopers that stands out is its outstanding visual effects. Even today, the film’s visual effects appear genuine, which is saying a lot. It was also nominated for an Academy Award in this category.