More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 30.88%
Average: 16.59%
Pretty Bad: 7.83%
Total Crap: 7.37%

11 reviews, 151 user ratings

Starship Troopers
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Dust For Eyes

"React how I tell you to react"
5 stars

Paul Vorhoeven. Is he the most misunderstood underrated director about? Or is he a talentless exploiter in it for the cash? Well quite possibly the latter, but with Starship Troopers he has a film that is far more interesting and far more thought provoking than one may first see on the surface.

The purpose of science fiction has never really been about predicting the future. Its purpose is to describe what the future would be like if a certain aspect of today's world were to suddenly explode, go crazy, appear on talk shows, and dominate the world. There's lots of examples - I'll mention Orwell's '1984'. A story about a dingy, information controlling fascist world, where - worse still - there are no nice clothes. It's a criticism of fascism and Orwell wrote an essay saying just that in an introduction of early editions of the novel. Orwell didn't want to predict the future, he wanted to criticise the present.

Vorhoeven wanted to go over similar territory in the nicely subversive and evil, Starship Troopers. He doesn't go for the dour grim squalor of '1984', but instead - much more cleverly - sets his story in a glamorous, seemingly utopia world of the future.

It seems that whenever Vorhoeven wants to criticise something, he gives it to us in bucket loads. i don't know if that idea works all that well, but don't blame me - it's his idea not mine. In Robocop, to critise the inhumanity of the police force he gives us a robotic police officer. His target seemed to be sexual exploitation and misogyny in Basic Instinct and Showgirls. In these two films, Vorhoeven uses the sci fi technique of taking an aspect of society and greatly amplifying and exaggerating it. Vorhoeven has not been entirely successful at this, but it is a habit that he continues in Starship Troopers. This time his target is the military, and the information control and propaganda of a fascist society.

In a war you need an enemy. The film opens with a news service and it is with this and other similar sequences that Vorhoeven reserves his most scathing criticisms. It is the portrayal in the media of the bugs that we see Vorhoeven's strongest point. They are seen as an out and out evil who are a personal threat to the viewer to the point that the viewer is compelled to hate them. Even when there is a hint of the bugs having rightful grievances they are quickly discounted. Here Vorhoeven is criticising the twisted, biased portrayal and creation of 'enemies' which we have seen many a time in recent years most notably in the Gulf War and the Kosovo crisis. If an enemy can't be created by the government in the media, things are left well alone or done in secret.

The society portrayed in Starship Troopers seems very attractive with the world looking clean, attractive, everybody looking happy, and sexual discrimination being not existent - they even have nice clothes. Despite this, the society they live in is disturbingly fascistic. Apart from the propaganda, there is the requirement of military service for full citizenship, the use of extreme violence just to make a simple point, children in the military, the requirement of licenses to have children and the labeling of a religious mission as extremist. Look at the uniforms of the intelligence agency - the leather and black are straight out of Nazi Germany. This world these people live in is truly scary.

What I like best about this film is that despite all this heavy criticism going on, the film still succeeds on a pure entertainment level. The black humour, over-the-top violence, action and special effects will engage the viewer and some would be fooled into thinking that was all that was going on. Although this film is serious sci fi society commentary it does it in a light entertaining style not unlike Galaxy Quest.

Maybe Vorhoeven is a talentless no hoper, but with Starship Troopers he has a gem. A film that works as entertaining Hollywood SFX fodder as well as scathing social criticism.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 05/02/00 08:44:33
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

10/30/16 morris campbell 2 long but good gory sci-fi fun 4 stars
1/08/16 David Hollingsworth cheesy, but good cheesy 4 stars
11/08/14 Dan Palacios A sci-fi version of the 911 to Iraqi invasion trope. Terrifying prophecy. Ass-Plasma indeed 5 stars
7/21/12 Sean Harrison Good action scenes, but terrible adaptation of Robert Heinlen's original novel. 3 stars
8/08/11 Chris F Brilliant film never get bored watching it 5 stars
8/02/11 art IT"S MY KIND OF MOVIE!,MAGNIFICENT! 5 stars
5/15/11 stephen nettles PURE LOVE FOR THIS FILM 5 stars
4/21/11 Maya Jewell A truly awful waste of time. 1 stars
3/26/11 M. Rogers This is still a fun movie to watch. 5 stars
3/03/11 brian "The only good bug is a dead bug." Amen. 5 stars
9/05/10 Bellering Plain Just saw it in a theatre two nights 2010 !! A sublime guilty plezzure for sure. 4 stars
1/04/10 Jeff Wilder A perfectly entertaining guilty pleasure. 4 stars
12/18/08 Man Out 6 Bucks A film Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini would love 1 stars
10/22/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Story! 5 stars
8/28/08 michael thomas enjoyed it, would like to get the dvd one day 4 stars
8/15/08 Jago There are two kinds of people; those who love this movie and those that didn't get it. 5 stars
8/05/08 King 1 This movie is totally COOL! ...sadly has some really bad sequels 5 stars
5/18/08 paul evans Robert Heinlen wrote the original story,the movie held it together well. 4 stars
5/09/08 Jim Raynor Wicked Masterful Entertainment 5 stars
8/03/07 itchmr campy spoof of army, space & western films - addictive 4 stars
7/15/07 action movie fan a bit redundant but great battle scenes though extremely gory 4 stars
7/14/07 Vincent Ebriega Enjoyable, action packed cheese. 3.5/5. 4 stars
6/23/07 Mike I have a bet with a buddy. Do you get to see Denise Richards boobs in this movie? 3 stars
6/21/07 Ronin Surprisingly good. 4 stars
6/11/07 al smith cracking film shame denise richards didn't get her huge bangers out 4 stars
5/22/07 Indrid Cold Just like Verhoeven's Robocop: a great mixture of action, FX, and satire. 5 stars
4/17/07 Stevo The fighting bits were absolutley badass, but y add a love story? 5 stars
4/10/07 David Pollastrini Great fx 4 stars
1/08/07 R.W.Welch Liked the bugs, but neither the comedy nor the drama are very effective. 3 stars
12/19/06 Akabusi Masterful satire of fascist militarism, propaganda and human stupidity. 5 stars
10/02/06 Jeremy Davies The best movie I have ever seen without a plot 4 stars
2/21/06 Ruff I wonder how many people twig to the political satire in this 5 stars
10/31/05 Ronin not bad between average and worth a look 4 stars
10/11/05 fabius maximus good movie 5 stars
8/12/05 ES The part where the kids are squishing cockroaches is too funny = join the mobile inf! 5 stars
7/31/05 Adam I would have liked to see Denise Richards naked, why the fuck not???? 3 stars
7/20/05 Dan "why wasnt denise richards naked?"--That's a good fucking question she had the biggest tits 5 stars
7/03/05 Eddie Wicked good movie 5 stars
6/17/05 Janeywaney I thought I was the only one who liked this 5 stars
3/12/05 Alice Colwell not bad 3 stars
2/06/05 Tom Benton Well-done, entertaining and often funny science fiction adventure. 4 stars
1/22/05 Allen ok, so the acting was still pretty cool..why wasnt denise richards naked? 4 stars
12/25/04 Alfie "I see...ace of spades!" You have to watch carefully to understand this movie. 5 stars
12/15/04 paul No, not RIO!! 4 stars
12/10/04 Jason Kaul At least there was nudity. Otherwise it amazes me that this film spawned a sequal. 2 stars
10/22/04 caspar N Too much high school drama 2 stars
10/11/04 Vince This movie ROCKS! Period. 5 stars
7/28/04 Cass Killing, violence, bloodshed, decapitation..Ignore the plot. KICK SOME ASS! 5 stars
7/23/04 DM A terminally stupid, atrociously acted catastrophe 1 stars
7/15/04 John McIntyre The only good bug is a dead bug 4 stars
6/25/04 milehigh Good squishy fun. 4 stars
6/19/04 Denise Duspiva better story then you would think 5 stars
6/14/04 PR Communal showers- Yeepie the future looks rosy 5 stars
6/01/04 Frazier Disgusting movie that uses carnal pleasures to sell. Worst movie that I've seen. 1 stars
5/20/04 Borg453 I think the review has a bout about the B-Class acting. 4 stars
5/18/04 Jack Sommersby Mammothly entertaining. Perfect blend of gore, humor, and spirit. 5 stars
5/18/04 Idiot's Mouth Killing CGI bugs only works for a few scenes. Book better, though shameless plug for Army. 2 stars
4/25/04 Vicious Aliens did a similar thing better, but this was fun. 4 stars
4/12/04 Bob I watched it a second time, and STILL I think it's good. 5 stars
4/07/04 Sig We should've seen Denise Ricahrds in the nude, not Dina Meyer 5 stars
2/25/04 Dr.Lecter Almost spectacular, but disgraceful acting tainted it for me 3 stars
11/30/03 john a cynical but accurate depiction of facism from the inside out - good sfx too! 4 stars
10/24/03 Bapts Its funny to see that almost no one here understood the sarcasm that made this film so grea 5 stars
8/30/03 gigimaletti Almost a perfect film.. aliens, violence, big guns.. a bit more sex and it could be N.1 5 stars
8/07/03 marc_ian_a Excellent ! (5 stars) :) 5 stars
7/18/03 Animator dude Fucking hilarious movie 5 stars
5/12/03 Jack Bourbon Great mindless gore-fest. Like the pitiful topless girl with the egg-titties. 4 stars
4/15/03 me iAM WITH YOU TAD IT WAS BAD 1 stars
3/03/03 Jack Sommersby A mammohtly entertaining sci-fi with loads of color and laughs and gore! 5 stars
12/23/02 3man Nothing like the book but seeing Dina Meyer's boobs makes up for it. 3 stars
12/22/02 Pigwidgeon Here's a hint ... Verhoeven made it into a SATIRE ... better than the book version! 5 stars
11/28/02 Lady who hates romantic comedies Hot bods, big guns, giant bugs and Michael Ironside - what's not to love? Dina Meyer rules! 5 stars
11/24/02 Sweetgrrl1972 They don't think. They don't moralize. They just shoot bugs. Fucking Awsome. 5 stars
10/04/02 Alex Flynn I think the mobile infantry should invest in better military hardware. Crappy-Ass Guns 2 stars
8/16/02 scott a good film 4 stars
7/20/02 artemishia was it just me or did that last giant smart bug look like a huge vagina? 4 stars
4/06/02 Dave MacDougall retarded enough to offend retarded people.... 1 stars
2/28/02 Alan Smithee Easily some of the best CGI effects I've seen yet. and the redheaded chick was hot. 4 stars
2/25/02 Mark Lloyd Instant cult film. You either love it or hate it. I loved it 5 stars
2/22/02 Skywise I liked the book better, but it WAS a great rollercoaster ride and worth the money 4 stars
1/14/02 Andrew Carden The Special Effects Are Good, but It's Very Goofy and Has A Confusing Plot. 3 stars
12/08/01 Monster W. Kung Really sick satire, it's hard not to root for the bugs in this one. 3 stars
9/27/01 Xerox Verhoven is da du-rek-ta! 5 stars
9/25/01 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This movie is one of the most... KICK ASS OF ALL KICK ASS MOVIES EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/23/01 Jim Flying dismembered body parts interrupted by the occasional philosophical discussion 4 stars
8/21/01 P.Rodriguez 2nd best movie eva.4 those who don't like the film, remember take a film 4 whats it's worth 5 stars
7/28/01 TheFirkin Great Effects, lots of gore, silly acting but who cares! I was there for fun and I got it! 5 stars
7/07/01 Indelusia Root for the bugs! A great propoganda film. 4 stars
6/08/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) I love this movie, goddamn it. Some of us seem jaded by all the TRULY bad sci-fi out there 5 stars
5/08/01 Gracy Lionheart Not bad/not good either. I personally liked the original book much better. 3 stars
5/05/01 The Moorhen Jake Busey rocks. I wish he was my best friend. God I'm so lonely. *SOB* 5 stars
3/02/01 Steve in Prague once again teen movie critic II is a dumb ass little bitch who knows NOTHING 5 stars
2/28/01 Jason M. This movie is all about dark humor and a fun ride - enjoy. 5 stars
2/26/01 jk great and any one who says different is gay and knows nothing 5 stars
2/23/01 Elladan I spit upon this movie, an insult to Heinlein's name. Vorhoeven, you are dead to me. 1 stars
1/09/01 fifu this is a modern day B movie (the aliens eat there brains) 2 stars
12/27/00 fifu well Rodriguez sucks. this is one of the worst movies i have ever seen(aliens eat brains?) 1 stars
10/16/00 wrob The social commentary was probably lost on the audience. Excellent effects. 5 stars
9/23/00 Terrie Smith Not much on plot and especially the acting but the computer graphics were great. 4 stars
8/01/00 Bruce Not for the sqeamish, but it is a wild ride 5 stars
7/30/00 Will Mays 100% communal showers. i gotta try that sometime 2 stars
5/03/00 P.Rodriguez 2nd BEST FILM EVER!! (only Gataca beats it) 5 stars
4/07/00 Gremlin Tell me again why they just didn't nuke the whole hell hole. Kick ass movie! 5 stars
4/06/00 Meat Popsicle It SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCKKKSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!! 1 stars
3/25/00 DJ If you ignore the fact that there was a book before, a fairly decent movie 4 stars
3/17/00 Lame-Oh much better than the genuinely pathetic Wing Commander 4 stars
3/03/00 Richard Wright Funny satire and exciting (but gory) action sequences make this well worth watching. 4 stars
2/06/00 Kyle Broflovski I saw "Showgirls." I burned Verhoeven at the stake. I saw this. All was forgiven. :-) 5 stars
1/10/00 Will that was almost satirical, in a way. Okay, in a small way. Very small. 5 stars
12/13/99 little jerry Verhoeven can do no wrong.(inc.Showgirls).Spielberg must have seen this when planning RYAN. 5 stars
9/18/99 Ratso Don't talk about Carmen that way! 5 stars
9/06/99 godsdog The only good thing about this film is Dina Meyer, she's got it. Film failed at everything 2 stars
5/11/99 Ghost Awesome movie. Not accurate to the book in some senses, but in others it is. 4 stars
5/08/99 Rudiger Fortesque III I saw it three times. 1st-plot, 2nd and 3rd-nudity and gore 5 stars
4/26/99 twisted barbie 90210 meets outer space....I got some great laughs from this one! 1 stars
3/18/99 Max Bernstein Fuck Doogie Howser. Only good parts was the t!ts. What can I say? I love t!ts! 1 stars
3/17/99 Ah Dooey Better than that vile movie Wing Commander 4 stars
3/14/99 Love Donkey Ultra-violent retard schlock.Offensive. 1 stars
3/11/99 perlpex A move that not many people understand - THEY ARE TOO NARROW MINDED! 5 stars
2/24/99 Scott 1st understand what the director is doing-then you will get this flick & love it 5 stars
2/20/99 Piz a product for 12 year olds with an R rating 2 stars
2/02/99 Matthew Bartley For all that is sacred DONT SEE THIS FILM!!!!! 1 stars
1/08/99 Jo Mama fun movie. guns, hotties, and violence.luved it. 4 stars
1/07/99 Juan Carlos Rey Actors suffered from "Cutthroat Island" Syndrome... too happy amidst brutal death and shit. 2 stars
12/31/98 JDC an almost deliberate mockery of the Heinlein novel on which it's based. 2 stars
12/15/98 Felixmeister Verhoeven once again takes an idea and reduces it to pure infantile gore. 1 stars
12/07/98 Shadow Raider The buggers in this flick are kick-ass than the ones in Mimic and ID4. Watch it! 4 stars
12/04/98 Shadow Raider Excellent battle scenes, action, story and FX, great trailer. Oh well... watch it. 4 stars
11/28/98 Mr.Pink This movie ROCKS! Verhoeven's sadistic in-joke has the best battlescenes ever!Great!!! 5 stars
11/14/98 Per Kihlborg This is by far the worst movie I have ever seen, and I sat trough Hobgoblins!! 1 stars
11/06/98 bvw every shot is a special effect. this shit is awesome. hot chick, too. 5 stars
11/05/98 Bad Kosh Worth a look, better than that ID4 shit, you gotta love it... 4 stars
10/27/98 Cage Super!!! Wow!!! Great FX, action, story, characters.. Nuke'm Rico!! 5 stars
10/18/98 Sailor Moon Ate My Balls Full of intense action and fun, this you gotta watch! 4 stars
10/07/98 Maegs Found it satirical. Lost * for Denise--she's Smack-able 4 stars
10/02/98 Division 6 Great flick! Is a movie ever faithful to the book? Then shuddup and like it. 5 stars
9/26/98 Jeff Heintz IT IS FUCKING AWESOME!!! 5 stars
9/16/98 Trav Wonderful, funny film. But Denise Richards sucks, and almost ruined it! 5 stars
9/07/98 BBReBozo Who the fuck does not-naked-getting Denise Richards thinks she is? 4 stars
9/06/98 Young Einstein Two words. Denise Richards. 4 stars
9/05/98 Jon Liked it. 4 stars
8/31/98 Matt well, there was nudity and fighting and stuff, but the ending made me angry 3 stars
8/25/98 The Capital City Goofball Could have done without Jake BUsey's ass. 3 stars
8/23/98 Superfly I expected it to suck very badly, maybe that's why I thought it was so good. 4 stars
8/20/98 The Man With The Helmet Too much Richards is never enough. And shower scenes. 4 stars
8/17/98 Johny amazingly bad acting, but the fun and satire mix well 4 stars
8/17/98 J-Guy (The MFC) they tried to make a point about violence. It ended up looking like a bad movie. 2 stars
8/17/98 {{{OZ}}} For all it's problems, this was actually fun to sit through. Denise has teeth n'stuff 4 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  07-Nov-1997 (R)



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast