Bugs. T & A. Soap opera rejects.Imagine Independence Day with aliens that are meaner and totally unreliant upon technology. Imagine that movie with an "R" rating rather than a "PG-13," meaning there's more blood, more death, more destruction. This time, Earth is past the defensive stage. Earth is invading the homeworld of these bugs. And there you have Starship Troopers.
Take one part 90210 and Melrose Place castaways (who lives? who dies? who cares?), add in a healthy dose of computer generated baddies, plus some Star Wars-inspired space sequences, include the sometimes twisted sense of humor of director Paul Verhoeven, and you can start to get a sense for this film. It's less a disaster movie (which, at it's core, is essentially what ID4 was) and not exactly the war movie it was made out to be.
It is slick. The effects are decent, and the bugs are so much more menacing than the big-heads of ID4. And Verhoeven's wit shows through with the "newsbreak" segments that remind me a lot of Robocop. The casting is interesting, though not in the sense that you wonder who's going to live and who's going to die, but in the sense that they're all relatively unknown, with the possible exception of Doogie Howser. The actors are basically average, although Casper Van Dien, perfect as the pretty boy, still thinks he's on whatever bad soap opera he came from. He's bad. Not like Shaft "baaaad," but just plain old bad. Only Michael Ironside stands out as a badass lieutenant. But then, when has Michael Ironside not played a badass?
The real stars? The effects, especially the bugs. The story's mighty slim (slimmer than Robert Heinlen's already slender novel) with the filmmakers going for style over substance.Less Jake Busey ass. More Denise Richards.