Hello everyone, and welcome to 111 Archer Avenue. What started as a film review blog has become my online judgment forum. I will review the occasional movie or DVD, post an interesting trailer, critique a newly-read book, talk about sports, and share my thoughts and opinions on random issues. You can also follow me on Twitter (@OlieCoen) or check out my work on DVDTalk.com. Thank you and enjoy!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Movie Review - Starship Troopers

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Starring: Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards, Neil Patrick Harris
Year: 1997

I first saw Starship Troopers when I was around 15 or 16.  A friend and I were at our "grown up" friend's house; a pretty nice place for a young couple with no kids.  They had just build a new theatre room, which had exploded in popularity.  It was an enclosed, soundproof room with a projector, screen, surround sound, and recliner chairs.  Basically, the perfect movie experience.  We all wanted to try it out and we examined his DVD collection, trying to find a film with a lot of action, noise, explosions, special effects, gore, intensity; basically an entertaining flick.  Well, we settled on Starship Troopers, and we were not disappointed.  The young me loved it because it was gory and ridiculous.  And now, watching it again, it's still great, if for a couple different reasons.

The movie is set in the future on an Earth that has unified.  The Federation is a militaristic government that values service above all.  Serve in the military and you can rise from Civilian class to Citizen class, the elite group that is allowed to vote.  Young adults are encouraged to do their part, and three best friends sign up right out of school: Carmen (the beautiful pilot), Carl (the brainy intelligence officer), and Johnny Rico (the grunt infantryman).  The trio join the war that is just beginning, a battle against the Bug.  On a planet far away an advanced race of insect is attacking Earth using meteors hurled through space.  Of course, humanity fights back, taking the war to the Bug planet and pounding away on the ground and in the air.  The three friends fight in different ways, but they all share the same goal; to defeat the Bug and save the planet!

Oh it's good.  Oh yes it's good.  Obviously the plot is wonderfully silly and extremely over the top.  Humans run around shooting giant insects with machine guns, usually getting bitten in half in the process.  Cadets train in basic training, showering together and practicing Bug combat.  There are flying insects, tunneling insects, and giant insect brains.  What more could you ask for?  Starship Troopers is a b-movie dream.  However (and here's where I might lose you), it's not just an awesomely bad gore-fest.  There are some very interesting themes going on and a lot of depth behind the comedy if you want to go looking for it.  The movie has a lot to say about the military, government, exploitation, fervor, Nazis, propaganda.  It's there if you want to see it, but if you don't then what you're left with is still a well-made b-movie that is bloody, bug-juicy, has a little nudity, a lot of violence, some cool special effects, horrible acting (Denise Richards), Doogie Howser as an SS-type officer, and explosions galore.  I'll stand by this flick no matter what; to me it never gets old.

My rating: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰


  1. How gory is it? I want to see it but I don't like movies that are really gory or have a lot of graphic violence...

    1. It's very gory. It's silly gore and bug gore, but it's still there. People are constantly being bitten in half by pincers or having their heads blown up. People get stabbed through the appendages by insect arms and have their lower halves blown away. Bugs explode, burn people to cinders, and ooze juice. It's pretty grody.