Starship Troopers | Chicago Reader

Starship Troopers

Rated R 129 minutes

Four friends just out of high school join the military: Denise Richards wants to pilot enormous spaceships, Casper Van Dien wants to be near her, Dina Meyer wants to be near him, and Neil Patrick Harris wants to pit his brain power against that of giant enemy insects—if they have brains. The plot of this 1997 feature may sound like silly, conventional science fiction and soap opera romance, but director Paul Verhoeven blends the conflicting elements of intentional camp and perverse sincerity into a single tone—and he doesn't resort to simple irony. Instead he revels in the contradictions and defies us to see fascist ideology in a story that allows us to identify with warmongering characters. Ed Neumeier's screenplay was based on the novel by Robert A. Heinlein.

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