In the first and finest RoboCop movie, director Paul Verhoeven combined near-future science fiction with a keen sense of social satire--not to mention enough high-velocity violence to satisfy even the most voracious bloodlust. In Starship Troopers, Verhoeven and RoboCop cowriter Ed Neumeier take inspired cues from Robert Heinlein's classic sci-fi novel to create a special-effects extravaganza that functions on multiple levels of entertainment. The film might be called "Melrose Place in Space," with its youthful cast of handsome guys and gorgeous women who look like they've been recruited (and in some cases they were) from the cast of Beverly Hills 90210. Viewers might focus on the incredible, graphically intense action sequences (definitely not for children) in which heavily armed forces from Earth go to off-world battle against vast hordes of alien "bugs" bent on planetary conquest. The attacking bugs are marvels of state-of-the-art special-effects technology, and the space battles are nothing short of spectacular. But Starship Troopers is more than a showcase for high-tech hardware and gigantic, flesh-ripping insects. Recalling his childhood in Holland during the Nazi occupation, Verhoeven turns this epic adventure into a scathingly funny satire of fascist propaganda, emphasizing Heinlein's underlying warning against the hazards of military conformity and the sickening realities of war. It's an action-packed joy ride if that's all you're looking for, but Verhoeven has a provocative agenda that makes Starship Troopers as smart as it is exciting. The DVD includes an above-average commentary by the director and Neumeier, several deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes documentary and promotional featurette, cast bios, production notes, and more. --Jeff Shannon
My mother always told me that violence doesn't solve anything.
Really. I wonder what the city founders of Hiroshima would have to say about that. You.
They wouldn't say anything. Hiroshima was destroyed.
Correct. Violence has resolved more conflicts than anything else. The contrary opinion that violence doesn't solve anything is merely wishful thinking at its worst.
We have the ships. We have the weapons. We need soldiers. Soldiers like Lieutenant Stack Lumbreiser...
Over the target area now, Captain.
...and Captain Carmen Ibanez.
This is the captain speaking. All personnel prepare for drop.
Soldiers like Private Ace Levy and Lieutenant John Rico.
Come on you apes, you wanna live forever?
We need you all. Service guarantees citizenship.
We thought there might be a Brain Bug on P.
You knew and still you sent them?
We couldn't afford to launch an operation if there wasn't one. You disapprove? Well, too bad. We're in this for the species, boys and girls. It's simple numbers. They have more. And every day I have to make decisions that send hundreds of people like you to their deaths.
Didn't they tell you, Colonel? That's what the Mobile Infantry is good for.
All right let's sum up. This year in history, we talked about the failure of democracy. How the social scientists of the 21st Century brought our world to the brink of chaos. We talked about the veterans how they took control and imposed the stability that has generations since. We talked about the rights and privileges between those who served in the armed forces and those who haven't, therefore called citizens and civilians.
You. Why are only citizens allowed to vote?
No. Something given has no value. When you vote, you are exercising political authority, your using force. And force my friends is violence. The supreme authority from which all other authorities re derived.