Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cult Classic #2 - Starship Troopers

After Robocop, I decided to stick with Verhoeven again. I've seen Starship Troopers a few times but I decided to take a look at it from a different angle (and I really don't mean the strategic use of pause).

Starship Troopers is a masterpiece. It might have been made 15 years ago but it definitely still holds up as a sci-fi classic. As with Robocop, it doesn't take itself too seriously but there is quite a fair amount of social commentary, the media once again being the target. Verhoeven has stepped it up since Robocop, turning the futuristic interactive newscasts into pure propoganda for "citizenship", aka military recruitment.

The film follows Johnny Rico, who joins the military to try and stay close to his oh-so-young girlfriend, played by a young (and probably pre-Charlie Sheen) Denise Richards. Factor in Neil Patrick Harris, Michael Ironside and a host of other recognizable "that guy" actors, this film is filled to the brim with class.

We see Johnny all the way through a catastrophic turn in boot camp, a near catastropic invasion of the bug planet and ... well, loads of other things that end up being catastrophic. The plot is very simple, and Starship Troopers could easily have falled into obscurity but somehow the whole cocktail just works. It is easily accessible sci-fi without being bad sci-fi. It has a bit of romance, loads of action and as I said before, a stellar cast. It might not be an Oscar winner but it was never meant to be. 

The action scenes are spectacular and they never skimp on violence. A minute into the film dismembered limbs are flying like confetti and I respect that. Why be conservative in a film like this? Verhoeven knows who his target audience is, and delivers. Nudity? Why not! Violence and blood that will put any other R-rated romp to shame? Yes! Likeable characters that, while being stereotypes, are surprisingly likeable? Definitely.

Okay, so I haven't mentioned the "bugs" yet, but they are glorious. If you are planning on making an action sci-fi, give the people with guns something to shoot at. Copy, paste. Genius.

Its easy to see why fan screenings of this film is still being held in New York city yearly. It utterly deserves the title of being a "cult classic" because I will love this film for years to come, and a few more after that.

Cult-o-Meter: 9/10 - Starship Troopers is a true cult classic. While masquerading a cheesy sci-fi it transcends genre and becomes a film that most (non-sensitive) people can enjoy. Also, boobs.

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