7.2/10
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Starship Troopers (1997)

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Humans in a fascist, militaristic future wage war with giant alien bugs.

Director:

Paul Verhoeven

Writers:

Edward Neumeier (screenplay) (as Ed Neumeier), Robert A. Heinlein (book)
Popularity
1,005 ( 30)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Casper Van Dien ... Johnny Rico
Dina Meyer ... Dizzy Flores
Denise Richards ... Carmen Ibanez
Jake Busey ... Ace Levy
Neil Patrick Harris ... Carl Jenkins
Clancy Brown ... Sgt. Zim
Seth Gilliam ... Sugar Watkins
Patrick Muldoon ... Zander Barcalow
Michael Ironside ... Jean Rasczak
Rue McClanahan ... Biology Teacher
Marshall Bell ... General Owen
Eric Bruskotter ... Breckinridge
Matt Levin ... Kitten Smith
Blake Lindsley ... Katrina
Anthony Ruivivar ... Shujimi
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Storyline

In the distant future high school kids are encouraged to become citizens by joining the military. What they don't know is that they'll soon be engaged in a full scale war against a planet of alien insects. The fight is on to ensure the safety of humanity. Written by Christopher Van Pelt

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Prepare for Battle See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic sci-fi violence and gore, and for some language and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bug Hunt at Outpost Nine See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$105,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,058,773, 9 November 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$54,814,377

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$121,214,377
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS (8 channels)| Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Casper Van Dien says he was often asked why a blonde-haired, blue-eyed actor would play the Argentinian Juan Rico. He suggests that his character was the descendant of exiled Germans. Argentina was famously a hiding place of German war criminals after World War II. See more »

Goofs

While the Roughnecks are on Planet P for mission assistance and backup. Johnny is promoted from Private, to non-commissioned Corporal and later while still on mission, to non-commissioned Sergeant. After mission failure, they are sent a shuttle for pickup, Johnny tells Xander to bomb the planet, then Xander says under whose orders Corporal. It's not possible that Xander could have known of Johnny promotion, before pickup, unless he's psychic. But they are traveled together in the back of the ship for minutes - while Dizz was dying. Xander could be heard somebody call Johnny "Corporal". (Also maybe mistakenly on this other soldier's part as he may don't know about the rushy Sergeant promotion.) See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Newsreel announcer: Young people from all over the globe are joining up to fight for the future.
Soldier #1: I'm doing my part.
Soldier #2: I'm doing my part.
Soldier #3: I'm doing my part.
Young kid dressed up as a soldier: I'm doing my part too.
[Soldiers laugh]
Newsreel announcer: They're doing their part. Are you? Join the Mobile Infantry and save the world. Service guarantees citizenship.
See more »

Alternate Versions

During the classroom scene when Mr. Rasczak (Michael Ironside) talks about violence he says "I wonder what the city fathers of Hiroshima would say about that." and Carmen (Denise Richards) replies "They probably wouldn't say anything. Hiroshima was destroyed." This scene was removed from the Japanese version. In the German version Mr. Rasczak says "I wonder what the citizens of Washington would say about that." and Carmen replies "They probably wouldn't say anything. Washington was destroyed during the first Bug War." See more »

Connections

Featured in Honest Trailers: Thor: Ragnarok (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Intense
Written by Karen Poole, Terence Martin & Shelly Poole (as Michelle Poole)
Performed by Alisha's Attic
Courtesy of Mercury Records Limited
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Unique, subversive masterpiece
15 December 2013 | by gogoschka-1See all my reviews

This film is about the ignorance of conquerors and the fact that war makes fascists of us all. Now that doesn't sound like a lot of fun, does it. But guess what: it is fun (by the truckload - at least if you have a pitch-black sense of humour and you do realise what this film is and what it wants to achieve).

Paul Verhoeven was a master at making Sci-Fi films which worked both as perfect mainstream popcorn cinema and as very intelligent social commentary on the direction - he felt - society was headed. And despite the fact that the over-the-top satirical elements and highly political undercurrents in his two previous sci-fi extravaganzas Robocop and Total Recall were only appreciated by a few critics at the time, those two films became huge hits at the box office: because they also offered great action, amazing special effects and overall great entertainment.

My guess is that Verhoeven felt encouraged by that success, and so with Starship Troopers, he didn't just sneak in some subversive parts: he went full-blown satire. Sadly, that didn't go down too well with audiences and critics alike; apparently most viewers didn't get the film at all (the - seemingly - good guys wear Nazi uniforms? What the heck?). Verhoeven even got accused of being a fascist, and it took the director's commentary on the DVD to finally make it once and for all clear what Starship Troopers is about and what the writer's and the director's intentions were.

I wonder whether the studio execs realised what Verhoeven was up to with that film; maybe the director just took their 100 million dollars and ran with it. The result, in any case, is a unique oddity that I personally feel is on par with films like District 9 or even Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove. It's a masterpiece. And much like another glitch in the Hollywood machine, David Fincher's Fight Club, films like that rarely get made (and not with such budgets), because more often than not, they end up as flops.

Apart from the underlying themes, on the surface Starship Troopers also has a lot going for it: amazing effects that still hold up very well and insanely intense battle scenes with more blood and guts than even the meanest gore-hound could wish for. So no matter how it came about that a studio ever green-lit this and gave Verhoeven a 100 million dollars - I for one will forever be grateful for this unique subversive masterpiece. My vote: 10 out of 10

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