Tue
Jan 17 2012 2:00pm

There Are So Many Reasons Why You Should Watch Starship Troopers Right Now

I’m not gonna lie to you: I like Starship Troopers, the movie, and pretty much always have. I know many of you don’t. For those of you, I’m going to share my five secrets to enjoying Starship Troopers, the film, here in 2012.

1. Separate the movie from the novel. Here’s how I do it: I think to myself, wow, there’s a terrific novel named Starship Troopers, written by Robert Heinlein, and there’s a unrelated movie called Starship Troopers, written by Ed Neumier and directed by Paul Verhoeven! What a coincidence! There you go. It’s just that easy.

And you say, but — and I say, look, here’s a simple rule. When should you expect Hollywood to make a faithful film adaption of a science fiction novel? Answer: Never. Speaking from my two decades of experience as a professional  film critic and observer of the industry, I can tell you that Hollywood does not option books to make movies exactly like the books. They option books to (variously, and among other things) take advantage of existing title/author awareness, to be a hedge against failure — i.e., this basic idea should work as a movie because it’s already worked as a novel — and to strip mine the work for story elements that align with the film makers’ notion of what gets butts into theater seats.

I know many of you want to register a complaint at this point, regarding what film makers should do. Your complaint is noted and as an author of a science fiction novel currently optioned for a film, I am not unsympathetic. I am not talking about what film makers should do, I’m talking about what they actually do. You want to live in a world where film makers take books you love and cherish them and make them into exactly the film version you’ve always imagined in the theater of your brain. You’d probably also like to live in a world where donuts strengthen your abs and make your hair shiny and glossy. And maybe one day donuts will do that. They don’t now.

(Also submitted for your consideration: Authors and their reputations may still benefit even if film versions of their work have almost nothing to do with the originals. See: Philip K. Dick.)

2. Realize you’re watching a Paul Verhoeven film. This is what I wrote about Paul Verhoeven in 1997, when I first reviewed Starship Troopers:

Paul Verhoeven is a director who can give you everything you want in a movie, as long as you want too much of it. This isn’t a criticism of Verhoeven. It’s just a fact. Paul Verhoeven makes movies like tuberculosis patients make fever dreams: vivid, disjointed, with all the human emotions pumped up so far that they bleed into each other like a swirl. A lot of people confuse it for camp, but Verhoeven isn’t out there, winking to the audience. He’s as serious as a heart attack.

It was true then; it’s true now. Verhoeven’s visual and aesthetic sense is narcotic. It’s not intended to be realistic, it’s intended to arouse, in all the various senses of the word.

Starship Troopers certainly does that. Whatever else it is, it’s an arousing film: It features a young, hot cast clearly selected more for their visual appeal than their acting chops, lets you linger on their beauty and youth and then tosses those pretty young things into the abattoir, and it’s no surprise that slaughter is also arousing. Verhoeven, being Verhoeven, is perfectly happy to have the same neural pathways that you used to gaze on naked young bodies in a group shower send along the images of those bodies being chopped into steaks by 12-foot-high semi-intelligent bugs. He wants you to have the cognitive dissonance of being as turned on by their destruction as you were by their youthful hotness, whether you consciously register it as cognitive dissonance or not.

3. Recognize the film is a product of its time. The film came out in 1997, the era of Friends and Melrose Place and Beverly Hill 90210. It’s also the pre-bubble Internet 1.0, in which you could be 25 and a stock option millionaire and also be under the impression that you had somehow earned that luck, rather than just being in the right place at the right time. It was a great time to be young and clueless in America.

At this point it’s worth knowing that Paul Verhoeven’s childhood took place in the middle of World War II. His home (in The Hague, Netherlands) was near a German missile base, which was repeatedly bombed by the allies. So at a young age Verhoeven got to see more than his fair share of war-related death, violence and destruction. This fact (along with his own sardonic nature) clearly found its way into his film work.

Now, imagine you’re a director who spent his youth ducking bombs, and you’re dropped into the easy, heedless prosperity of the American 1990s. You’re making a film about young people going to war, aimed at an audience of young people who are under the impression (as young people so often are) that the way things are now is the way they will always be. What are you going to tell them?

You’re going to tell them what Starship Troopers tells its characters (and its audience): Kid, you have absolutely no idea how bad it can get. They didn’t. We didn’t.

4. Notice the film resonates today. In 1997, we hadn’t had 9/11, two middle east wars that have gone on for a decade with their concomitant death and mutilation among a generation of soldiers and citizens, an era of government encroachment of civil liberties excused because “we’re at war,” a grinding economic downturn and a “for us or against us” sensibility that spilled out of foreign relations and into our domestic political discourse (Clinton’s impeachment in the 90s looks almost quaint these days).

(This is not an attempt to finger-point at George Bush or Republicans, incidentally. I strongly believe that if Al Gore had been in office on 9/11 we still would have gone to war in Afghanistan and young American men and women would still have died; our economy would still have suffered a shock; the nation’s political discourse would still likely have become strident and possibly toxic; we’d still have confronted questions of where and when liberties take a back seat to security. You would still have to take off your shoes to get on an airplane. The differences there would have been in degree, not kind, and would have in any event been substantial enough for what we’re talking about here.)

I’m not going to make an argument that Starship Troopers is in any way a realistic look at what war is, either in our time or in its own. Anyone with even the slightest of inkling about military strategy or tactics looks at the thing and throws their hands up in despair (followed quickly by biologists, once they get a load of the bugs spewing missiles into orbital space via their sphincters). Beyond that, it’s a commercial science fiction action film, in which what would be realistic is going to take a back seat to what is going to be awesome to watch while you’re shoveling popcorn down your gullet.

What I am going to argue, however, is that as a war fable — a dark science fictional fairy tale where young people are thrown into a crucible and only some of them make it out alive — it’s reasonably effective. It’s more effective today than in 1997 because as a nation we know (or at the very least have been reminded once more) what happens when we decide to go to war, and as a result we chuck young people into the grinder. The previously-amusing “Do You Want To Know More?” interstitials are no less amusing after a decade of clicking through the Internet to get one’s news, but they do seem rather less hyperbolic. The men and women being chopped up by the enemy take on a slightly different meaning when some 21-year-olds who went to war came home in coffins and others walk around with prosthetics that are awesome and state of the art, but still not their original flesh and bone. The funhouse mirror of Starship Troopers has gotten a little less warped over time.

Of course, neither Verhoeven nor his screenwriter Neumier could have known any of this would happen; the film isn’t prophetic and it would be foolish to suggest it was. Verhoeven doesn’t get credit for being a Cassandra. What it had, however, was an awareness of what war actually does, grounded in Verhoeven’s own experiences. Verhoeven amped it up, for his own personal aesthetic purposes and because at the end of the day his movie needed to make money if he was going to get his next job (his next job was Hollow Man, unfortunately). But it’s there. After the decade we’ve had, it looks smarter, and slightly less over-the-top, than it did when it was made.

(As extra credit, watch Verhoeven’s Dutch-language films about World War II: Soldier of Orange and Black Book. They are excellent, and also illuminating regarding who Verhoeven is as a director.)

5. Ignore the fact that the direct-to-video sequels exist. Because, wow. They’re awful. And not directed by Verhoeven. While you’re at it, you’re allowed to be skeptical about the reported intended remake of the film, currently scheduled for 2014. It’s no more likely to be based on the original novel as Verhoeven’s film was, and if the directorial succession of the upcoming Total Recall remake (to be directed by Len Wiseman, of the competent but joyless Underworld films) is any indication, the narcotic fever dream that is Verhoeven’s directorial aesthetic will be replaced by one that’s probably going to be a lot less interesting to watch.


John Scalzi’s first published novel Old Man’s War was a finalist for the Hugo Award, took first place in the Tor.com Best of the Decade Reader’s Poll, and won him 2006’s John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer; since then, he has published six more novels. Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008, a collection of essays from his popular weblog The Whatever, won the Hugo for Best Related Work in 2009. He is currently serving as president of the Science Fiction Writers of America.

This article is part of Military Science Fiction on Tor.com: ‹ previous | index | next ›
90 comments
Evan Langlinais
1. Skwid
Seconded, on all counts! As deeply flawed as this film is, it's far from the travesty most people claim it to be.

Also, Psychic SS NPH? Yes, please!
Alice Arneson
2. Wetlandernw
My one disagreement is that I found knowledge of the book (specifically the political situation and the citizen/civilian distinction) extremely helpful in making sense of the movie. (Or maybe, in making sense of the motivations within the movie.) Other than that, it's totally true that the movie only reflects the book in names and enemies. :)
Kurt Lorey
3. Shimrod
I remember Soldier of Orange. That goes way back.
J.R. Murdock
4. J.R. Murdock
I also enjoyed the movie. It was exactly as you mentioned, not intended to be a direct representation of the novel.
And I'll agree that the sequels were bad, but if you dislocate a portion of your brain, they are watchable. I would actually like to see a better done sequel rather than a remake. Or perhaps a prequel as Hollywood is won't to do these days.

P.s. is it coincidence that my captcha is squadron direct? I think not
J.R. Murdock
5. Chris Sears
My wife and I disagree about "The Bug Movie". I like it, and she doesn't. I have to agree with all of your points.

It would be interesting to compare and contrast Starship Troopers and Battle: Los Angeles.
J.R. Murdock
6. StochasticBird
One note (and I know this is pedantic - sorry). Narcotics are so named because their primary effect is to make patients sleepy. Not to induce crazy dreams or hallucinatory synesthetic states. Verhoeven's more LSD than morphine.
J.R. Murdock
7. Paul Ray
Fantastic. Especially the parallels to post 9/11 and the culpability of both political parties.

You should shoot this over to the NYT.
Juan Avila
8. Cumadrin
I already liked the movie a lot. Unfortunately I haven't read the book yet. That probably helped a bunch, yes?

Anyway, this post gave me even more confidence in my belief it's an acceptable movie to like, so thanks.
J.R. Murdock
9. semiotic_pirate
Hear hear! I saw the movie long (and many times) before getting around to reading the book. The delay was due to hearing that the book was nothing like the film, and I liked the film so much I was afraid that reading the book that inspired the film would somehow ruin my liking of the film. (Usually this is the other way around.)

I was always fascinated by extrapolating what the society portrayed in the film was like as a whole, the dystopian vision and existence of its inhabitants. Between that percolating in my subconscious and the amazing visual overloads, I was truly fascinated. Also - I found that I liked the movie because of its over-the-top portrayal of military service (which I had experienced). It reminded me of the times we'd sit around and make fun of the "low crawls" and such in other movies (like Predator) but it also reminded me of the camraderie experienced under difficult/trying circumstances. Oh. And that women were given equal footing in the movie's version of society was nice to see as well.

Yep. I know what I'll be re-watching tonight.
J.R. Murdock
10. Xopher HalfTongue
But John, it's bad for your mind and bad for society to be tricked into responding positively to the sight of bodies being shredded. Cognitive dissonance is BAD. It is, in fact, poison, and your discussion under #2 (an appropriate place to discuss this kind of shit) has convinced me I should never, ever watch this movie, and that I should dissuade others from watching it as well (I almost wrote "tell everyone else not to," but that's not good enough...for (some) teenagers I'll have to tell them it's slow but deeply meaningful so they won't see it).

And I don't disagree that it mirrors the cruel dystopia we live in today. But frankly if I want to watch a totally corrupt, violence-mad, and propaganda-blinded society in action, I'll turn on the evening news, not the movie channel.
J.R. Murdock
11. Xopher HalfTongue
(I hate horror movies generally, so that's a grain of salt to take with my comment at #10.)
J.R. Murdock
12. Redski
I'm pretty much up with all that. Always nice to see an intelligent reflection on science fiction films. As a non-American.... should I be surprised that there is no reference to Vietnam and/or Vietnam War movies? Some reference surely? Or is Verhoeven not expected to allude to the 'Nam meatgrinder because he's not American? Try imagining ST directed by Oliver Stone..... Maybe I should get out more. Or just think about politics less. Sorry, just been reading about the latest Republican "presidential candidate" debate....
J.R. Murdock
13. Jens the other one
Hm... Your first point is the best explanation I've read so far. Remember Terry Pratchett commenting about Hollywood trying to write Death out of one of his novels? Never mind that he was the lead character in that book?

Please take note that in most parts of the world war does NOT mean that some young people (in many cases volunteers - no compusory military service in the US of A) go to foreign countries where the moralless natives slaughter some of them without mercy.

Think of the oddly-shaped ethnic weapon that made young Beverly lose a leg or your Johnny lose his life after some nasty complications as something a totally innocent native of a country of war used as a last resort to protect his wife and children. I would probably do the same thing in the same situation (with the difference that I was trained for that kind of stuff).

War is one thing. Bad enough as it is. War taking place in your own country is a different thing.
J.R. Murdock
14. William Pope
I'm sorry, I can't agree with your first statement. This film takes incredible source material, mines it for enough bits and pieces to make it "relevant" to the source material, then ignores the rest. It does this on a level only surpassed by other horrible movies such as Wing Commander and the Dungeons and Dragons movies.

To say that Hollywood never creates a movie true to the book is inaccurate. While no book translates directly word for word, most do at least try to uphold the spirit of the source material. This movie made no such attempt. It almost mocks much of the book's message.

Had it not been connected in any way to Heinlein's work, your other points might be valid. Had this movie been called The Bug Hunters perhaps I could applaud it as a glorious orgy of violence raging against the horrors of war. But it wasn't, so I can't.
J.R. Murdock
15. Seth G
So what does it mean that I actually liked "Hollow Man" but really hated this movie? I'm sure part of that is because I couldn't get past Step 1. Maybe if it becomes available for streaming from , I might give it another try (with a bottle of bourbon in hand).
J.R. Murdock
16. Mark R. Holyome
Starship Troopers is one of my all time favourite "Bad" movies to watch. It deserves Administrative Punishment... Ten lashes I say!!!
J.R. Murdock
17. Annika
Huh, it only took me one step to enjoy Starship Troopers:

1. Watch.
J.R. Murdock
18. Mark P
That's a lot of self-delustion/rationalization just to enjoy a movie.
J.R. Murdock
19. Mr Teufel
Surely anyone who had seen Robocop knew what sort of science fiction Paul Verhoeven makes? Agreed on all counts, John. I don't think Verhoeven was prophetic, just aware of what was going on at the time.
J.R. Murdock
20. Erik K
"Never" make a faithful adaptation of a sci-fi novel seems strong, doesn't it? I'll throw out Andromeda Strain (1971) at least.

Starship Troopers and I, Robot bothered me in how they took the name of the book and so little else. I don't expect (or really want) a perfectly literal translation of a novel, but that was too much.

If the forthcoming Ender's Game movie, or the possible Old Man's War movie resemble the source material that little I'll be truly torqued.
J.R. Murdock
21. John Teehan
Well and thoughtfully presented. I still despise the film as one of the greatest wastes of time and effort ever committed by man (and to put this in context--I'm a big fan of the movie, The Fifth Element). It's not even a good bad movie. You at least provide some insight as to why some folks can enjoy the flic.

A pity the creators of Space: Above & Beyond couldn't tie themselves to the Starship Troopers book. It might have been a better, more palatable fit. I hope Verhoeven (and Uwe Boll and his ilk) keep their mitts off your work.
J.R. Murdock
22. Chris Gabel
I liked the movie when I saw it in the theatre oh so many years ago. It had been at least a decade since I had read the book, but I was certainly aware that the movie was only vaguely related to the book. My impression was that it was intended to show how awful & usually pointless war is & also how governments use them to propagandize their people & scare them into giving up their freedom & independence to The State.
J.R. Murdock
23. MikeP
@17 that was going to be my comment. There really is only one step.

This article has moved up the book in my que, I have been meaning to read it for quite some time just hadn't got around to it.
Kimani Rogers
24. KiManiak
I liked this movie when it first came out, and I still like it now... always as a good "bad" movie.

Come on; it was known as "Melrose Space" when it first came out. The fact that Denise Richards and Casper Van Dien were cast as leads (and as a pilot and soldier, respectively) were enough to tell any audience member not to take this movie seriously; just enjoy the ride. (and really, you're going to ignore Dina Meyer in favor of Denise Richards?)

To be fair, I haven't read the book, so I have no problems separating a high-quality novel from a low-quality movie. But, this movie is fun.

"You kill bugs good"
J.R. Murdock
25. Constance
I adore both the book and the movie, and fortunately never had any illusions about their kinship. Thanks for calling the movie out 15 years later, when it is arguably more robust than when originally released. I'm curious, though: why did you choose to talk about Starship Troopers, now?
J.R. Murdock
26. DonWhiteside
I think you left off a sixth reason to enjoy the movie - the absolutely viscious and cutting satire that exists in the movie's constant implications that so much of the action is a gigantic load of nonsense. I think there's a very distinct effort in the movie to imply that the whole war is bread & circuses to keep the population in line and that the bugs are a manufactured thread - possibly literally. The fact that you can watch & enjoy the movie without ever pondering that fact just, to me, means it works doubly well.
J.R. Murdock
27. Jake Errs
Hey now, hey now, while we're rewatching Starship Troopers, we must not forget to catch a few episodes of the Roughnecks animated series, which hewed somewhat closer to Heinlein's book.

And while we're at it, why not watch the ever more relevant They Live, a tasty mix of sweet bubblegum violence and sour socio-political commentary. A well-aged aperitif to Verhoven's carnagefest.
John Scalzi
28. Scalzi
"I'm curious, though: why did you choose to talk about Starship Troopers, now?"

Because the folks at Tor.com said to me "Hey, we're doing a military science fiction week, wanna write something? We'll give you money."
J.R. Murdock
29. Applesauce Parker
It doesn't surprise me that #1 is where a lot of people get hung up. My first exposure to Starship Troopers in any form was the (sadly never completed) computer-animated series Roughnecks, which was so rich and well-crafted that it spoiled me for both the live-action film and the source material. I still like both, but neither is what the series had led me to hope they'd be.
J.R. Murdock
30. constance
"We'll give you money."

Always an excellent reason to talk/write about something that you like, anyway. I'm glad you chose Starship Troopers, then.

On a side note, we call this "Super-Shiny Troopers," at home.
Joe Vondracek
31. joev
@24: My only real problem with Starship Troopers is that the Rico character would choose the lame Denise Richards over firecracker Dina Meyer. Completely ruined my suspension of disbelief.
J.R. Murdock
32. strongdreams
@31, My only real problem with Starship Troopers is that the Rico character would choose the lame Denise Richards over firecracker Dina Meyer.

If you're any kind of a decent (hu)man, you don't dump the Girl You Left Behind when you Go To War, no matter how hot the girls Over There are -- at least, not right away.

Significantly, he doesn't go back to her romantically after Diz dies. They seem to be Just Friends at the end.
J.R. Murdock
33. Sidders
I read the book and watched the film. 2 separate entities.
It is impossible represent my mental imagery in a film, and I do not want the film of a book, a book has images private to me, a film is a shared fable ( as per the brothers Grimm ) not a visitation to the id.
J.R. Murdock
34. Improbable Joe
I wonder what sort of movie could be made from the book. People remember the vivid descriptions of the cool armor, and mostly forget the LONG talky bits of political theory that dominated much of the book. The war plot was there for Heinlein to hang his politics on, so why not have Verhoeven use to movie as a rack for HIS political views?

My big complaint about adaptations of books and other media to live-actiokn film is always: What are the film's creators trying to say here? If the answer is "powered battle armor is AWESOME" then what you've got is a Michael Bay movie. At least here, the message seems to be "War sucks... and the way we portray it in popular culture is pretty screwed up too."

Remember that this is pre-9/11 but the first Gulf War was still sort of going on not long before they must have started pre-production of the film.
J.R. Murdock
35. SF
A good write-up, particularly in terms of how the film plays now as opposed to when it was released. Three other reasons to watch the film: Michael Ironside, Marshall Bell and Clancy Brown.

@10 Xtopher: The film is a satire. A straight-faced satire, but a satire nonetheless. It's pretty clear that Verhoeven doesn't intend us to take what's being shown as a good thing. He trusts the audience to get the big picture. He basically takes the tropes of the patriotic World War II platoon movie, as well as the language of patriotic wartime rhetoric, and demonstrates that those same tropes and that same rhetoric can be used to fascist ends. (I think he talks a bit about this on the commentary.) If you're going to use cognitive dissonance in a film, this film represents one effective and worthwhile way to use it.

@31 joev: Rico does eventually come to his senses with regards to Diz. Somewhere around the time Jake Busey starts playing his tranluscent electro-fiddle.

@17 Annika: Agreed.
David Thomson
36. ZetaStriker
Starship Troopers ruined Terra Nova for me. Because the uniforms are the same! XD
Gilmoure Gylbard
37. Gilmoure
Pretty much agree with JS's take on the movie but have any of y'all seen the animated Starship Troopers? It was a lot closer to the book.
Peter Tijger
38. Peter-Tijger
I definitely like this movie. A bunch of soapy actors thrown in and making it work too....hats off to fellow countryman Verhoeven.

Greatest thing about this movie is the enormous middle finger Verhoeven gives American viewers/critics especially.....I always laugh at the very end of the movie because of it...I see Verhoeven smiling and actually sticking up his middle finger.
A few years before he made Showgirls, got burned because of it.....way too much sex and nudity to handle for the audience (besides the point of the movie being good or not, discussions were more about the amount of so-called sex in the movie (what sex?)). And then a couple of years later he returns with a movie which is chockfull of violence, blood literally splashing all around, basically kids getting killed in a war in most gruesome ways. And it's all perfectly normal they are violent beyond belief, it's normal society. And then the end........the big kahuna of the aliens is found, its gaping "mouth" resembling an enormous vagina. And that vagina gets raped by a big pole, in the name of science (what makes these aliens tick)........and just when the vagina is probed there's a black box censoring it.
There's your middle finger America, right there. Sex (Showgirls) NO....but violence....oh yeah, that we can handle of course.

Nice movie by Verhoeven and the pun at the end will have me laughing every time I see it. :)
J.R. Murdock
39. Nikitta
I had no problems enjoying it, maybe in part because I've never gotten around to reading the book. Another reason is that if something looks sufficiently awesome, I don't care whether it's realistic or not because the conscious part of my brain is too busy noticing how awesome it is to even consider whether it's realistic or not. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I know that it could never happen, but it stays in the back of my mind as long as the movie stays awesome. Sometimes I simply feel like watching gigantic insects eating a reporter or a bald guy in a tank, with a small army, hunting gigantic dragons or a semi-vampire kicking som serious vampire-behind or something else entirely which has little to no connection with reality, but which simply looks awesome. Maybe that means that sometimes I'm kind of shallow, but I don't care - it's awesome!
Jennifer B
40. JennB
I love this movie. It's one of the few in my small collection of DVDs. The whole movie is a joke (satire as the other commenters have called it and I totally agree). Either you get the joke or you don't (or I suppose you could come up with a long list of points to rationalize liking it).

Other than enjoying the wonderful satire, Point 1 is the only one that I really feel is relevevant to whether or not someone is going to like this movie. I did not suffer from Point 1 because I have not read the book. Maybe I should put it on my list. It is often easier to separate a movie and the book it is based upon if you see the movie first.
J.R. Murdock
41. PC Wheeler
Love the movie - always have. It's over the top, gory, sexy and funny.
J.R. Murdock
42. AlBrown
While there were some things I liked about this movie, it left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Heinlein depicted a military that was tough because it had to be, where the movie depicts a military that seems to thrive on casual cruelty and sadism. Heinlein wanted to present heroes, willing to put their lives on the line for their fellow man, while the movie seems to mock that attitude. Heinlein gave us an extrapolation of the American military, while the movie gives us strutting Nazis.
And tactically, Heinlein described a force that has honed maneuver warfare to an art form, while the movie devolves to situation after situation where the outnumbered MI picks ground to hold, mowing down vast quantities of enemies in an orgy of violence. No military science here, just rehashing old Foreign Legion movies.
I'm a fan of the book, but can't say the same about the movie.
Joris Meijer
43. jtmeijer
I like the film. It is still a brilliant setup on the dangers of blind patriottism and propaganda. But the book did not make much of an impression, I cannot think of any details. The image I have of the creepy political organization is probably a result of later discussions.

@42 AlBrown, maneuvre warfare is so much more difficult to put onto the screen properly, especially when nukes are used. Scaling everything down to orgies of direct violence might be the best visual solution.
Sanctume Spiritstone
44. Sanctume
I think I saw this movie because it had cool aliens, and wife went along because one of the actor was in a day time soap.

I just remember that it was just another movie with some entertainment value. I'd watch it again if I see it in Blockbuster.
J.R. Murdock
45. Wendy S. Delmater
Oh Lord, none of those points matter. When the psychic reads the big captured bug's mind and tells us (dramatically!) that, "It's scared!"

Phineas and Ferb on Nickelodeon could do a better job of getting me to suspend my disbelief.
J.R. Murdock
46. landondyer
Verhoeven butchered one of the best combat SF books of all time, and you're /cheering him on/?

The film is a despicable affront to virtually everything the book had to say. Part of me died inside when I saw it in the theatre. It floated by on cable a few evenings ago, and I couldn't get past the first ten minutes.
J.R. Murdock
47. Clarence Rutherford
I loved Trooper as a dumb teen, as I experienced war I was left with only a warm feeling for a novel that presented a cartoon society. When the movie came out my kids were all close to the age I was when I read the book. We went to the movie together & all hated it. My younger son, who is a reader, read the book later & enjoyed it but there really was nothing that any of us liked about the movie.

You are dead on about Hollywood and books though - I read a lot & often times won't see a movie based on a book I love because I know they can't (or won't) make the book into a movie. I'll catch it on TV where I can walk away if it gets too bad.
T C
48. Freelancer
In my personal fantasy world, a studio commits to faithfully reproducing Ender's Game for the big screen. When I'm awake, I pray they never try, because it would end up being another Starship Troopers. A war against the bugs portrayed all wrong.

I can forgive the film's makers for so poorly representing a Heinlein book, as that's a tall order, and one I'd only want attempted on one or two of his stories. I can forgive them the badly mischaracterized portrayals of citizenship, loyalty, honor and duty. I can even forgive them the immense fail of most of the cast's ability to maneuver simple dialogue. But NPH? I can never forgive them Doogie Howser as the master psychic.
John Scalzi
49. Scalzi
landondyer:

"Verhoeven butchered one of the best combat SF books of all time"

No, he didn't. The book itself is mysteriously unaffected by the existence of the film. Heinlein's words were not pulped and replaced by a novelization of the Starship Troopers film (Heinlein's book, however, did jump back into the bestseller lists when the film came out, if memory serves).

This goes further to the point that the book and the film are not the same thing. A crappy film adaptation of any book does nothing to the book. See: Dune, The Postman, The Puppet Masters (yeeech), etc for further confirmation of this. But even a crappy film adaptation can be a nice advertisement for the book.
J.R. Murdock
49. Lektu
If memory serves, this is a film where a rookie pilot is at the helm of a major battleship and almost collides, and noone seems to care too much. A film where battleships in orbit against planetary defenses regroup after being hit (to offer a better chance to the enemy, I suppose; they are nice that way). Where ships in orbit that are hit actually fall into the planet (and orbital mechanics be damned). Where someone is stabbed to death by an ugly alien, and her last words, instead of "Fuck, it hurts!", are "It's alright 'cause I got to have you, Johnny..."
The only thing separating this film from utter crap is Michael Ironside, and that's because he makes any film cooler just by being in it, not because he's particularly good in this one.
J.R. Murdock
50. Warren Bugs
What I remember about trying to match the book and the film was that while some elements of the film were indeed lifted from Heinlein's Starship Troopers, others seemed to be taken far more directly from Steakley's Armor. It's been about a decade since I read either book, but I seem to recall a whole bunch of elements were much more Steakley than Heinlein - the lightly armored massed infantry caught unawares by ambush, especially (Heinlein's infantry were in giant mechanized suits with jetpacks and teeny nuclear warheads).
YouDont NeedToKnow
51. necrosage2005
I never knew that the movie was a book first. That being said - I loved the movie when I first watched it in the theaters and I still love it now. Personally I thought that it was kind of visionary and really describes how too many people were after the horrible and tragic time after 9/11. If you substitute the Muslim people for the bugs you can really start to see some parallels in the ways that we acted and the people do after the Buenos Aires attack did in the movie. It isn't that I want to get political, I just think that by hitting Iraq we went after the wrong target just like they did in the movie.
J.R. Murdock
52. BillK
I liked Starship Troopers.

Dunno why it gets so much hate.

Book was much much better, of course.
J.R. Murdock
53. TCWriter
This was not a good movie, unless you're a fan of cartoonish posturing backed up by the cast of Melrose Space.

Heinlein's novel contained all sorts of stuff about an interesting (if somewhat totalitarian) society, but in the movie, we've white-toothed fools fighting bugs with what appear to be Vietnam-era weapons (in terms of effectiveness), forming circles in order to gun down the bugs (you don't have to be a physics pro to see the issues), and generally doing one really unbelievably dumb thing after another (see comment 49 by Lektu above).

If the movie succeeds it's largely as a parody of itself, and suggesting it's the best we can get because Hollywood screws up every book means you haven't read/seen High Fidelity by Nick Hornby.

Sorry. This is Showgirls in space -- a movie that becomes tolerable only because it's so bad, it's funny.
J.R. Murdock
54. Brad R. Torgersen
I have always considered this film to be a guilty pleasure. It is over the top, but for anyone who has enjoyed Verhoeven's more famous, previous works, such as ROBOCOP, then STARSHIP TROOPERS hits the right notes, is just action-packed enough to keep your blood moving, and not so concerned with its source material as to become bogged down in long lectures or other pretensions. Heinlein purists hate it, and I can't fault them. But as action-SF entertainment, I find STARSHIP TROOPERS to be enjoyable for many of the same reasons I find INDEPENDENCE DAY to be enjoyable. There is enough plot and character development to keep me rooting for the heroes, and who doesn't have a soft spot in their heart for scenes of underdog humans kicking alien ass? I mean, really. This movie appeals to the Duke Nukem in all of us. Women too. You Dukettes, you.
J.R. Murdock
55. This guy walks into a bar
#42: "Heinlein depicted a military that was tough because it had to be, "

Small correction: Heinlein depicted war the way he did because that's the way Heinlein thought war worked. But Heinlein was never in combat. And he wrote "Starship Troopers" in response to the National Committee for Sane Nuclear Policy calling for a suspension of nuclear weapon testing in 1958. Starship Troopers was a gung-ho, gotta have our nukes or the "bugs" will overrun us, response.

"where the movie depicts a military that seems to thrive on casual cruelty and sadism."

Well, sure, because if you take the politics that Heinlein advocates in the novel, you get the world Verhousen shows in the movie. In chapter 8, Heinlein goes on and on about puppy training as a metaphor for why we have to have corporal punishment like public floggings and public hangings. And he does so with a straight face.

In America, since 1973, 138 people on death row ended up exonerated. during that same time, about 1300 people were executed. That's about ten percent. To continue capital punishment with a history of error in the range of ten percent of innocent victims is sadism and cruelty.

If you want to look at the cruelty of war, you have Abu Graib, which will never be fully investigated, Guantanamo (about 800 known prisoners, about 100 have died such that their military autopsies ruled their deaths homicides), Bagram, the Kill Squad (US Army troops who went around Afghanistan while high and killed civilians for kicks), the marines pissing on dead afghans, the 2006 incident in Iraq where American troops handcuffed women in children they found in a house then executed every one of them then called in an airstrike to destroy the evidence. Never mind the abuse that the Truth took to plant imaginary WMD's in Iraq just so we could invade that country that had nothing to do with 9/11.

You implement a war nation like Heinlein describes in his book? You get a war nation like America is now. That's the kind of nation that Verhousen shows in his movie.
Alice Arneson
56. Wetlandernw
Freelancer @48 - IIRC, part of why I remember the movie with some fondness was cracking up every time I saw "Doogie Howser playing intelligence agent". Talk about cognitive dissonance! :) Then again, while I enjoyed Heinlein's book, it wasn't such a favorite that I was going to feel terribly offended by the changes.

As for the Ender's Game movie... I'm not sure what to think. I can always hope they do it well, but my confidence level is extremely low. I have to remind myself: the book is the book, the movie is the movie. Don't expect them to match.
john mullen
57. johntheirishmongol
I hoped that this would be a good adaptation of a RAH book, but obviously it wasn't. I still enjoy the movie for it's own elements, fighting, sex, hot girls, but really it is a mixed message on whatever kind of political statement PV thought he was trying to make. I don't really think it had anything to do with 9/11 or Vietnam or if it did, it did it badly. I personally think he just likes to see shit blown up and thats ok, since I like it too.

The one thing that everyone hated about this movie, that was in the book and that anyone who read it really wanted to see was the suits. There is pages of discriptions on the suits and how they work and I have no idea how you would make that work in a film, but I hope someone tries it someday.
john mullen
58. johntheirishmongol
@55 That's crazy. RAH's ideas of what his world would be is nothing like what the movie shows. And describing the US as a war nation sound like you have some serious issues.
Michael Grosberg
59. Michael_GR
I don't care when it was made.
I don't care what book it was based on.
I don't care about Verhoven's childhood experience.
I judge a film on its own merit.

And when it comes to Starship Troopers...The movie is simply bad. Verhoven movies are blood+tits-fests and this one is no different. I'ts a gore-filled piece of trash with some nudity adde for good measure. Being a satire doesn't excuse a movie from having some standards. Having an R rating doesn't either. There are well-made satires in the world and well-made hard-hitting R-rated films. This is simply not one of them.
J.R. Murdock
60. valruspines
It's one of the worst movies I'd seen. And I had seen it a lot of times... Wait... that last comment does not make any sense. If it is so bad why I have this craving of going back there again and again.
I have no explanation for that, but sometimes my brain needs to see some bug blowing out a missile through its ass.
Also Neil Patrick Harris.
J.R. Murdock
61. Raymond Ingles
Sorry, I'm with #14. There's a difference between translating/mining - even strip-mining - and actively subverting and opposing the book.

The example that sums it up for me: In both the book and the movie, a recruit asks why they are training with knives when the enemy has nukes.

In the book, the drill sergeant explains the concept of measured and proportionate force, as well as demonstrations of force.

In the movie, the drill sergeant throws a knife through the recruit's hand and says, "Hard to push a button now, eh?"

Yes, Hollywood regularly chews up source material and squirts out something that, at most, has the same name as the original. And yes, there are comprehensible reasons why this happens. But there's a difference between motive and justification. Murder - even artistic murder - can have the former but not the latter.

I say this as someone who thinks there's a lot to criticize in the book, even. But if Verhoven wanted to make that kind of movie, why not start with material that actually made a criticism instead of a parody - say, Haldeman's "The Forever War"?
J.R. Murdock
62. This guy walks into a bar
@58 "That's crazy. RAH's ideas of what his world would be is nothing like what the movie shows"

I said "if you take the politics that Heinlein advocates in the novel, you get the world Verhousen shows in the movie"

RAH advocates for capital and corporal punishment based on a several page long metaphor that equates human beings with puppies needing potty training. You have to beat them, flog them, hang them, because that's all they understand.

RAH then posits a world that advocates this sort of nonsense is a world of supreme order and efficiency and justice. There is no waste in the Heinlein's novel, no one is wrongly executed, abuse and sadism is rare and quickly punished by the powers that be.

And that's complete nonsense. A world following Heinlein's militaristic philosophy doesn't look like the clean, efficent, just, world that Heinlein portrays in his novel. It looks like authoritarianism. It looks like fascism. And that's exactly the sort of world that Verhousen portrays in the movie.

Heinlein shows fascist and authoritarian philosophies creating highly efficient, just, and nearly perfect societies. That's nothing more than propaganda for Heinlein's philosophies. Follow me to the promised land!

Verhousen has lived through societies that followed Heinlein's kind of military authoritarianism and fascism. He shows you what they look like through his movie.
J.R. Murdock
63. Jennifer R
I never read the book, but I got forced to watch this by a skeezy dude years ago because it was his favorite movie. I kind of see three different things about it:

The gore: so nasty I was cringing and hiding on the guy a lot. Which was probably his intention.

The shiny bright people straight outta Melrose: kind of hilarious for their plastic perfection, after a while. Especially since they're supposed to pass for someone from freaking Buenos Aires (oh, "BA.").

The satire bits: brutally awesome. I still remember "Would you like to learn more?" and the long list of things you couldn't do in your adult life if you didn't join the military. Like voting, or that girl saying she wanted to have kids--really? That's taken away from you if you don't risk bug death?

I remember the movie for the satire best of all. I don't know if I could sit through the gore again, but that movie was sharp when it came to that stuff, so I can appreciate why some folks enjoy it.
Robert Cales
64. ScaryBob
Starship Troopers in my household is an invitation to a dispute. My wife only sees a hokey movie with bugs throwing rocks at earth. What I see is a masterpiece of character development, which completely overrides the films negative aspects. The viewer KNOWS every character and when they are ripped apart by the bugs there is actually sorrow. That is a lesson that all writers, directors and moviemakers need to embrace.
Sean Vivier
65. SeanVivier
The movie is better than the book because the movie doesn't open with the heroes launching nukes in a civilian population.

That said, I always find it very disrespectful to the author when a movie presents the exact opposite message of the book that is its source. Heinlein's ideas seemed to be: I'm a libertarian... until the military is involved, then government force is always good and everyone must be subservient to the State. Verhoeven makes a great satire of warfare, but it's not the message of Starship Troopers.

Same reason I didn't like Legend of the Seeker. Terry Goodkind clearly wrote Richard Rahl to be an Objectivist (the modern kind that don't seem to have read Ayn Rand's essays on her pacifism). Yet the producers of the show turned him into a Hollywood liberal.

Imagine if the Atlas Shrugged movie had been presented as socialist realism. Or if a 1984 movie extolled the virtues of an enlightened dictatorship. Or if a Fahrenheit 451 movie told us we needed censorship for our own good.

Or stick to Heinlein. Can you imagine a movie based on The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress with the moral that colonialism is a good thing? Or Stranger In A Strange Land as a satire of the hippie culture?

Just seems wrong to me.
J.R. Murdock
66. Jack Majewski
To those who find the movie unwatchable, I suggest that a true-to-the-book movie would have been equally, if not more, unwatchable. All the sort of bright eyed jingoism of the book, that the movie's themes work to rip apart, would be played straight. You'd walk away sickened.

Or you'd walk away bored. The interesting philosophical points of the book are, I feel, largely unfilmable. Not in a 'the public wouldn't buy it' sense, but in that there's nothing particularly film-worthy about a Socratic dialog. The movie version at least causes discussion alround some (not all) of the same points. Something like the animated series probably does as best a version of the book as possible, though largely by pulling as much material from a more general pool of "soldiers at war" stories.
Alice Arneson
67. Wetlandernw
Jack Majewski @66 - "The interesting philosophical points of the book are, I feel, largely unfilmable." I completely agree with this point. I think that's one of the reason I don't mind that the film doesn't reflect the book very accurately - most of what makes the book worth reading simply can't be portrayed on film, other than by people sitting around having the conversations. Even that wouldn't work very well in some cases, and if that's what you want it's much easier to read the book.

I do agree with those who were disappointed by not seeing the suits - those were superb in the book, and seeing them in action would have been very, very fun. And I'm pretty sure that even with the techniques available then, they could have done a fair job; with the CGA tech available now, can you just imagine? Wheeee!!! That's the best reason I can think of for a remake. :) (On the other hand, I have to wonder if the suits would be hard to "interpret" for people who hadn't read the book first... But I'm sure a good team could make it happen.)
J.R. Murdock
68. Ralph Hitchens
Few things in the blogosphere are as rewarding as finding a prominent blogger who absolutely positively agrees with and echoes one's own opinions! Starship Troopers was indeed a landmark film of a particular sort, and I for one have always felt that I "got it" while so many others did not.

As an aside, were I a Hollywood producer owning Heinlein's "property" I would have set the main action on the planet where Acting 3rd Lt. Rico and his platoon, on their own initiative, go "down the hole" to find their missing platoon sergeant and capture a "Brain Bug." Intersperse the main story line with flashbacks to his earlier experiences in CAP Trooper training, classroom lectures in "History and Moral Philosophy," etc. I think that concept might have worked.
J.R. Murdock
69. Doug from Tally
All I have to say is...."MEDIC!"

As a P.S.: Yes, the sequels, as such, suck. They should be a lesson to all in the "direct to video" business to at least TRY to look at the original and figure out what the original idea was instead of just slobbering over the idea of (a) massive violence and gore and (b) nudity of nubile young things.
J.R. Murdock
70. The Other Keith
Raymond@61:

"The example that sums it up for me: In both the book and the movie, a recruit asks why they are training with knives when the enemy has nukes.

In the book, the drill sergeant explains the concept of measured and proportionate force, as well as demonstrations of force.

In the movie, the drill sergeant throws a knife through the recruit's hand and says, "Hard to push a button now, eh?""

So here's what's interesting: I think your example is a great illustration of the opposite point, that filmmakers must take deep liberties with the source material in order to make a watchable, and yes, profitable, movie.

Do you really want to watch that scene with the long, thoughtful exposition by that drill seargent about proportional force? In the middle of an action movie? Do you think other action movie ticket-buyers do?

These are the tradeoffs that filmmakers have to make every single day with any adaptation of a novel. If they didn't, we wouldn't ever see any film adaptation of any novel, because the studios wouldn't fund them.

Addmittedly, some people would consider that a net positive, but I'm not one of them. I like both Starship Troopers and I, Robot (the movies) for what they are- entertaining popcorn films with just a little veneer of something to think about rubbed off from their source material.
J.R. Murdock
71. Bill Heston
@50 You beat me to it: all of the combat owes much more to Steakley's Armor than to Starship Troopers. I think I heard somewhere that it only ended up being Starship Troopers because the name was deemed more recognizeable, and thus more marketable.
J.R. Murdock
72. blisterpeanuts
I watched the film recently on netflix and I really liked it. Then I read all these negative reviews on imdb and was perplexed. Do I have such bad taste? Well, you know what they say about critics.

Movie makers have a long tradition of making movies that are almost completely unrelated to the book except for the name (in the case of Blade Runner, they didn't even use the name). I guess it's all about marketing.

Anyway--loved it, need to watch it again some time.
steve davidson
73. crotchetyoldfan
One strongly suspects that this praise for the movie is as narcotically over the top as Verhoeven's film....
J.R. Murdock
74. crdawsey
The movie has some holes you could drive a semi- through. For example, if we have the technology to travel between the stars, why don't we have the same tech to obliterate the aliens from orbit, without sending boots on the ground. Heinlein's novel made more sense. Most of even the best so called "science" fiction movies would not get past the slush pile if they were submitted to a publisher as a novel. You can count on less than one hand the number of sci-fi movies that re not dumb and adhere to science.
J.R. Murdock
75. AlBrown
I read somewhere that Verhoeven didn't use the MI battlesuits not because of special effects limitations, but because if he did, he would have had a movie that felt more like a story about present day fighter pilots than present day infantry. A whole different feel. So instead of looking forward like Heinlein did, he looked back for inspiration. And in my opinion grabbed groundpounder cliches from too many bad movies.
I am hoping that at some point, we get to talk about the book. Now, that will be a worthwhile discussion...
J.R. Murdock
76. Jon Huston
I do love this film. I just saw it again, probably the 4th time, about 3 weeks ago, and forgot how much I like it.

As Mr. Scalzi said, it is an exaggerated film, and that is part of what makes it so delightful.
Bernadette Durbin
77. dexlives
I can't watch this movie because it keeps killing my suspension of disbelief. Starting with the actors being so very gringo and saying "Bwenos Air-ays"* and going through many points where the military would just have broken down under its own weight. And I'm not talking about the sadism but the points when procedure is there for a reason. Oh, this girl is going to turn the ship in spite of a direct warning from her commanding officer—and she gets away with it because "no harm, no foul"? Seriously, she would have been court-martialled—because she was lucky, but the dozen or so imitators she would have wouldn't be.

No, I'm not military. But I grew up with a retired/reserves major for a father, and though he was never a martinet, he definitely had a sense of the rightness of things, and some of it rubbed off. Enough, at least, that I can get a feel for when something is badly broken.

*Nails on chalkboard bad. No, worse than that. And newscasters, it's "pwer-to vay-ar-ta", not "Porto."
hi4
78. zerodude
I can't believe the praise this movie is getting , on TOR.com of all places.

It was entertaining, mindless and satirical. But lets not kid ourselves , it was [b][i]BAD[/i] , really bad


Military SF?

Look no further than Aliens.

Even Avatar ; At least Aliens and Avatar both had some kinda mechanized suits.

Both better than this movie.
J.R. Murdock
79. William again
One thing that irks me about many of these comments about the brilliant satire of the film is that if I remember correctly, that was never part of the marketing of the film prior to and during it's release. It seems to have been added retroactively to "explain away" just how horrible the film actually was.
J.R. Murdock
80. wheels
My take on it is that this wouldn't have been so bad a movie if it hadn't billed itself on the title screen as "Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers." From my point of view, it's "Paul Verhoeven's Rebuttal to Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers."

It would still have been a bad movie overall, though. I was fine with a lot of the differences from the book, because movies are a different medium than print. The only book I know that was almost completely faithful to the book was "The Maltese Falcon." The only difference I noted in that one is that Humphrey Bogart doesn't match the description of Sam Spade as looking like "a blond Satan."

In this case, there were just too many science errors in the movie, nobody above the rank of Lieutenant was shown as having a lick of common sense, too many characters made incredibly bad decisions with no consequences, and the anti-war "satire" was so heavy-handed that it absolutely grated on me.
J.R. Murdock
81. srmalloy
You make a very good point, Warren, and one that had not previously occurred to me. I had known the movie was going to be schlock when I read an article in Starlog magazine interviewing Verhoeven where he said he'd always wanted to make a movie from Starship Troopers because of the inherently fascist nature of the society; it was clear that he didn't understand the book, and the ongoing stupidity exhibited by the MI in the movie -- from putting a shooting range in the middle of the camp so long rounds go into the barracks to combat tactics that would embarrass anyone who'd actually been in the Army or Marines -- made it painful to watch. But reflecting on the storyline of Armor, your analogy is quite apt; the situations and actions in the movie fit Steakley's work much more tightly than Heinlein's.
Anthony Pero
82. anthonypero
The movie was worth watching for one line if nothing else:

"Remember, service guarantees citizenship"

That line cracked me up then and still does now. I loved the whole political schtick in that movie.
Anthony Pero
83. anthonypero
My mom also refused to watch the movie a second time because of, in her words, the "massive vagina" bug at the end of the movie. That is scarring for a high school student to hear. Moms, take note, don't mention the word "vagina" to your 16 year old son. In any context.
J.R. Murdock
84. MikeFlynn
Books are difficult to make into movies because books use words while movies use icons. The Socratic dialogs in the book cannot be filmed pretty much for the same reason we've never seen a film made of "The Symposium." Logic and iconic are as different as modern and post-modern.
+ + +
The military aspects are clearly based on WW2, which was fought =against= the fascists. Fascism is represented by the bugs, with their subsumption of the individual to the Group (Nation, Race, etc.) The battle on Sheol is Iwo Jima, where the fascists had a similar tunnel system and could pop up at any point. The Skinnies are the Italians, who switch sides; Buenos Aires is Pearl Harbor; etc.

Younger readers and/or viewers will not be hep to the jive.
+ + +
Heinlein was writing partly in response to an old Kipling story, "The Army of a Dream," in order to contest the British class system between officers and enlisted. Hence, also, his portrayal of recruits who were German, Japanese, Turk, black, Filipino, etc., as well as showing women in combat and command.
+ + +
The Terran society portrayed is no more fascist than in any novel focused on a spoiled rich boy coming of age in the military. Suppose a book had focused on a WW2 Marine recruit at Lejune, Pendleton, and then Iwo. How much of civilian society would we actually see? Same here. Fascist? Who is the Leader in whose name all of society is mobilized? Had the story been set in Italy or Germany, would the names of those Leaders or their inspirational visions been totally absent from the tale?

That the franchise was conferred only on those who had entered =and completed= a two-year term of Federal Service would mean in our context that George McGovern and Michael Dukakis could vote but that Dick Cheney could not. That does not strike me as especially fascist.

And the book also made clear that the Federal Sevice included non-military service. So add in civil service, Peace Corps volunteers, civil defense/Corps of Engineers, and other such.
J.R. Murdock
85. a1ay
The movie is better than the book because the movie doesn't open with the heroes launching nukes in a civilian population.

True. It's not many books that decide to open with, basically, the My Lai Massacre, told from the point of view of one of the murderers, and then keep him as the sympathetic hero throughout. (Seriously, he throws grenades into a church.)
Christopher Weuve
86. chrisweuve
Two comments:
First, I have a hard time with the intial comment as well. It's not just that the movie is a poor translation of the book -- it's the ANTITHESIS of the book. It has a different message, and is presented in a way that intentionally undercuts Heinlein's work. They used Heinlein's title and character names, and claimed in interviews that Heinlein would have agreed with them, but it's all lies. (Note: I have no problem with doing an anti-fascist movie, but if they are going to pervert it, then maybe they should have called it Bug Hunt like they originally planned.)

Second, "This guy walks into a bar"'s arguments are ones I have heard before. They are based on the fact that they don't like the society that Heinlein portrays in the book, and hence the movie is somehow the "real" version of that society. And, like the others who make this argument, "This guy" helpfully fills in all of the details that Heinlein did not discuss, so that it proves his point. The end result is more about the commenter's politics than anything Heinlein wrote. (For a further discussion of this, see www.kentaurus.com/troopers.htm.)
J.R. Murdock
87. NuriaRey
Hey there,
if you are german speaking, check this analysis of the film - it´s very interesting:
http://www.grin.com/de/e-book/111644/analyse-des-films-starship-troopers?lang=en#inside
J.R. Murdock
88. hurricane
I'm sorry but this movie is a pure example of how Hollywood can't make a good cross genre movie. The novel had enough action and plot that it didn't need a "makeover." The WWII-esge imagry was totally illogical for a Sci Fi story involving powered armor suits and an advesary that were literally a swarm of insects. I still reel from the images of the Mobil Infantry mounting a Nomandy-style invasion against insects!!!! And no gorilla suits!!! It just didn't make sense; even if you can divorce yourself from the source material.

Comparing this to Lord of Rings or HBO's Game of Thrones you can seee that adaptations of books into movies/TV can be done properly and in keeping with the original book.

Starship Troopers, however, is a clear example of Hollywood hubris in thinking they can improve a great story.
J.R. Murdock
89. Sam lenhart
First time I watched this movie tonight - at about twenty minutes into it I was thinking the Federal peeps were making up the whole bug attacks - and bamboozaling the young people into service - it would have made for a great movie - instead it neither ended up being a true science fiction movie or a parody or a sign of any times - I guess I didn't get how happy everyone was.

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