The biggest, baddest alien looks like a defrosted turkey. Most people I’ve spoken to about the film don’t see it, but to me, it IS a turkey, plucked and oven ready. shudder I saw the film in early Nov, getting the Thanksgiving meal together was a real problem that year.
First and foremost, Verhoeven desecrated one of the classic science fiction novels by planting its title on his opus of offal. He basically skimmed through a synopsis of the book, decided (wrongly) that the society described was fascistic and then simply told a story about a fascistic society’s propoganda.
Even if you ignore the source material, even if you do Verhoeven the undeserved favor of assuming he meant the tale as an example of fascistic propoganda, and was putting a wry spin on it, it was still very poorly done. Propoganda has not, historically, portrayed the enemy as dumb animals but as clever and evil devils insidious in trying to overrun the forces of good. Verhoeven’s supposed propoganda piece portrays the bugs as nothing more than beasts, their only effective weapons giant version of themselves farting gasballs at short range.
If the story isn’t a propoganda piece, if it’s just an action flick, it fails because it is an incredibly stupid, poorly thought-through action flick. A society that can travel faster than light but it lacks such 20th-21st century technology as unmanned drones for intelligence, fucking ARTILLERY, tanks or even mortars? Tactics that basically involve sending lightly-armed and armored infantry into a meat grinder? Puh-lease. I’ve seen more intelligent action flicks starring Michael fucking Dudikoff.
So, on all levels, this movie is a true, unadulterated piece of shit.
The problem is the wasted potential. If it had been an original work (that is, if they’d changed the names of the characters) I doubt anyone would be complaining – heck, I doubt anyone would be thinking of it anymore than, say Evolution now.
If you take almost any popular book and make a movie out of it, and twist the message of the book… you’re going to have backlash.
If Peter Jackson had reinterpreted LOTR to show how really it was Sauron who was the good guy, and that it was the Elves who’d started the war then there’d be just as many angry fans, IMO.
Okay, first of all, the movie is a complete 180 from what the book is about. The book deals with a unified Earth that is much like Switzerland as far as it’s government goes. (RAH had just gotten back from Switzerland and was impressed by what he saw there.) The book is also filled with accurate science, and military tactics, while the film is most assuredly not. The director refused to read the book as he didn’t want it to “corrupt” his vision and the screenwriter hated the book, so you’ve got a recipe for disaster right there.
I not only don’t think it’s bad, I think it’s darkly hilarious and, most importantly, I think it intended to be funny. It gets much funnier every time I watch it. Having not read the book until after watching the movie, I see the two as completely separate entities sharing only a name.
All the criticisms mentioned above–that Verhoeven butchered Heinlein’s book, that the science is implausible, that the aliens are ridiculous, that the acting is terrible–are all absolutely valid. However, there is one mitigating factor that completely renders all criticism irrelevant. . .
Caspar Van Dien’s bare ass in the shower scene. My word, but that man is as handsome as he is unable to act.
In my book, Starship Troopers gets put in the same category as Wing Commander, as a goofy teen-oriented sci-fi action flick, though I think Wing Commander was the more interesting of the two.
Having read the book “Starship Troopers” after seeing the film, I can see why fans of the book would get their panties all in a twist about the lack of fidelity, but geez, the book is so dated and hokey and 1950s-ish that it would have needed a major update anyway.
Sorry, but I must disagree. I’ve been a fan of the book for 20 years, and I thought the movie was lots of fun. Not totally true to the philosophy of the book, but I’d hardly call it a 180. The fascism was apparent in both book and film.
But, all that is trivia. It had Denise Richards! Can’t act, but oooooh baby! You can pilot my shuttle anytime!!..Timmy
P.S. - I agree with the defrosted turkey comment. Hilarious.
I don’t know. Certainly some of the dialoge would need reworking, but I think much of it could have been left intact. IAC, had they simply shot the book and not the abortion of a script that they did, they would have had a much better movie.