Reviewed by Ken M. Wilson
Rating: 7 Beans
n the past, novelists and screenwriters have gotten together to forge some incredibly well-done films for the movie-going population to consume. One such film that will never be included in that grouping is "Starship Troopers."
Let's do a little math here. The variables will be some classic and not so classic sci-fi/fantasy films from years past: Star Wars; Battlestar Galactica; Buck Rogers; Flash Gordon; and Robocop. Put 'em together and what do you got? Bibbidy-bobbidy-boo? Not even close. You're smack dab in the middle of what was being heralded by the press as the next great sci-fi/adventure film, "Starship Troopers." Yeah, right.
The thing that bugged me (oops, sorry for that awful pun) about this movie was the way that people were actually excited about going to see this. Any time you see a pretty boy heading into a battle, it's gonna suck. Rule #4 in predicting a true contender for "Bad Movie Night" is that fact right there.
Johnny (Casper Van Dien), the hunk with the funk, decides to leave his pampered lifestyle to join the Starship Troopers along with tom-boy cutie Diz (Dina Meyer), adorable girlfriend Carmen (Denise Richards), and best friend Carl (played by puberty poster boy Neil Patrick "Doogie Howser" Harris) to save the world from... bugs. Yes, that's right... bugs. Big ones. Nasty ones. Smart ones, too. They're so smart that they can launch asteroids through millions of miles of space to hit the Earth in precise areas.
Problems with this whole movie that makes it perfect for "BM Night" are:
1) Physics. You would imagine in a high-tech world that physics would play an important role. Pay close attention to Johnny as he rides a giant thrashing bug's back holding onto nothing but his desire to kill. Amazing. Not since Wyle E. Coyote has someone been able to defy gravity for so long. At least we got to see Wyle E. drop to some form of a demise. Huckleberry here gets promoted for actually killing the bug. He should win a damn Nobel Prize for pulling of a stunt like that.
2) Tactics. Now, I've never been enlisted for military combat but I've read Sun Tzu's _The Art of War_ and played enough Risk to know not to put all of my troops in one easily targeted area. Does Star Fleet Command (oops, wrong movie) know this one? Nope... never heard of it.
3) Motivation. You've heard it all before... it's the classic plot of any real love story. Boy meets girl. Boy falls for girl. Girl goes off to fly incredibly large cross-galaxy star cruiser. Boy follows after her. Now throw in a jealous female best friend that wants nothing more than to screw Boy's brains out for... twenty minutes.. and you've got yourself something with sequel potential, right? Had the world only produced more real-life situations in which someone as cute as Dina Meyer (shower scene, boys!) wants nothing more than to "have" someone for a twenty minute quicky (she reveals this before passing away in Stud Boys arms), the human race would be MUCH better off -- that's all I'm saying.
4) The Crowd -- the people you view the movie with makes a huge difference in the love you end up with for the film. I sat with Scoot and Chris, of course, but the true joy came from the 80+ year-old farts out from the grasp of their toothless wives in front of us that talked through the entire film and the posse of Wu-Tang wannabes three rows up that dissed the film brutally after the credits began to roll. These people actually came to see this under the recommendation of others... I'm sure those people got an earful (if not a faceful) the following day.
All in all, this movie dragged on and elicited scads of laughter from us at how hokey the entire production was from start to finish. Sure, it'll make money. Sure, it'll have a sequel out faster than you can say "I paid money for this?" In the end, though, this movie served its purpose. I wanted to find one movie that everyone said was "gonna be cool!" and then went as far as to say "it *WAS* cool!" only to have the truth revealed to me first-hand. This movie sucked. Thank you.
Other reviews for this movie:
Roger M. Wilcox