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Directed by Paul Verhoeven

United States 1997 129 mins. In English

Ostensibly a huge dumb sci-fi blockbuster starring mid-’90s Hollywood lukewarm up-and-comers, in lesser directorial hands Starship Troopers would have been just that. Instead, we’re treated to Paul Verhoeven’s (Total Recall, Robocop, Basic Instinct, Showgirls) positively perverted and highly subversive angle on a 23rd-century, heavily-militarized and very US-like “Earth federation,” which, while pursuing its imperialistic annexation of as many planets as it can land upon, upsets a murderous race of insects who subsequently become single-mindedly focused on destroying Earth and its inhabitants. Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien) and his new-recruit pals—including Denise Richards and Neil Patrick Harris—have enlisted to help the cause of saving humanity, but fighting The Bugs is not as simple as mindless wanton killing, while the film’s on-point propaganda commercials keep asking: Do you want to know more? “A vicious, all-barrels-firing piece of social satire. . . few American movies have been as extreme in their methods and at the same time as miscomprehended as Verhoeven’s. . . the most misunderstood and underappreciated sci-fi blockbuster of all time.”—Michael Atkinson, Turner Classic Movies.

Genres: Sci-Fi

Appears in: Print the Legend