In 1997 Paul Verhoven gave the world Starship Troopers – and the critics lambasted it from the moment it was launched. Loosely based on the Robert A. Heinlein novel by the same name Starship Troopers has survived the critics to become something of a cult phenomena for some very good reasons.
In Starship Troopers the world is united under one governing body and the world is at war with “The Bugs”. The story follows the lives of four friends who volunteer for military service (all military service is voluntary) to fight “The Bugs”. The great thing about this movie is that even though CGI is a big feature in the movie it is not a character in the movie. We are interested in the lives of Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien), Dizzy Flores (Dina Meyer), Carmen Ibanez (Denise Richards) and Carl Jenkins (Carl Jenkins). Conveniently Johnny loves Carmen, Dizzy loves Johnny and Carl is the brain. Dizzy and Johnny go infantry, Carmen goes fleet (Navy) and Carl gets games and theory (thing US Air Force Intelligence).
Most successful fiction is ultimately about people more than it is about plot. The strength of Starship Troopers is in the people who we care about. Johnny and Dizzy are meant for each other even if Johnny can’t see it. Starship Troopers is a fast moving movie that develops the story and the characters at a lightning pace with a quick story line interspersed with “reports” from embedded reporters and “advertisements” which seek to reassure the population and recruit new servicemen. Pace, storyline and CGI combined give this episodic tale the legs it has had despite the panning it received from critics.
If you haven’t seen it yet you should take the time to enjoy it.