Thursday, 13 February 2020

Film review: Starship Troopers

I drifted into watching this. It's fun. It isn't quite like the book, though clearly based on it; wiki has some words. I think I'll re-read the book. It's currently on Youtube, though doubtless will be taken down soon. I watched it at 480 rez so perhaps didn't get the highest quality view; some of the mass bug scenes looked just a touch odd; but overall, fine. The special effects were doubtless top-notch at the time but seem rather crude by today's standards, though the bugs are generally good especially the big ones.

The film annoys by falling into the usual silly tropes. For example, spaceships when damaged or colliding burn as though they were in air. Spaceships when hit begin to change course and eventually fall to the planet below. During the invasions, the motherships mass for the cameras so closely that they risk hitting each other; in reality they'd be 100's of kms apart; more likely, they'd be nowhere near the planet at all (compare fighter guncam video). Whenever the soldiers kill a bug, they pause and go "yeah" for the cameras and their comrades, and then get killed by the thing they're not looking at. When they go into combat, they do so in an ill-disciplined mass in each other's lines of fire. And so on.

Apparently, sez wiki, it is satirical; "Verhoeven stated in 1997 that the first scene of the film—an advertisement for the Mobile Infantry—was adapted shot-for-shot from a scene in Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will". And so on. But, it is all a bit crude for that. It is more plausibly seen as a military action movie.

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