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Starship Trooper

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Starship Trooper

Starring: Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Rated: R
RunTime: 129 Minutes
Release Date: November 1997
Genres: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, War, Action

*Also starring: Denise Richards, Jake Busey, Neil Patrick Harris, Clancy Brown, Seth Gilliam, Patrick Muldoon, Michael Ironside, Rue McClanahan

Review by Jim VanFleet
1 star out of 4

Ah, the beauty of subtlety. Subtlety, that ever-glowing magic that gives 2001: A Space Odyssey its magic. Subtlety, that elusive fragrance that is, not surprisingly, missing from Starship Troopers. In one of the most inept, ineffective films of recent years, we are invited to a journey where the heroes prevail and the losers are ripped limb from limb by alien spider-things. Question: Why , when designing aliens, do we always go with bug-eyed arachnids? How about a slug that just envelopes everything in its path?

Anyway, Starship Troopers takes place in the near future, when mankind can travel to the stars and blow up things real good. We follow Casper Van Dien as he begins storming after the "bugs." Aided by Denise Richards, who, to her credit, has a fabulous body, they head out and try to get rid of the bugs. They need the planet the bugs have inhabited, you see, and we can't coexist. Why? Because they are ugly, and we are not.

I guess there might be more to it than that, but that wouldn't save this movie. The problem lies in the film, which does not work in an Aliens sort of manner. It works on the level of big special effects and explosions. One scene involves these big, big bugs that somehow have evolved the ability to shoot blue orbs out of their butt with amazing precision. If you can believe that, then believe this: the people fight with machine guns. No lasers. It's the future, we can travel to the stars, but no lasers, or heat-beams. Oh, hydrogen-bombing the place isn't an option either. Why? Because the people in the film are about as intelligent as a canteloupe, that's why.

With characters this stupid, a plot this obvious, redundant special effects (the first time I saw an alien was impressive; the seven hundredth time got old), and godawful lines ("Kill 'em all," and the infamous "NOOOOOOO!"), it's a wonder that Paul Verhoeven, of such films as Hollow Man and Showgirls, was actually responsible. Well, it wasn't, but man is it depressing. When you see Denise Richards with her stupid smirk on throughout the whole movie, you wish for a gun, to use on them, and then yourselves. Preferably a laser gun.

Copyright 2001 Jim VanFleet

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