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Starship Troopers  (1997)

Cast: Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards, Dina Meyer, Michael Ironside, Patrick Muldoon, Neil Patrick Harris, Jake Busey
Director: Paul Verhoeven
U.S. Distribution: TriStar / Touchstone
U.S. Release Date: 11/7/97
Running Time: 2:09
MPAA Rating: R

To be perfectly honest, I tend to get a little overly excited about upcoming horror/sci-fi films. I try to keep this in mind when reviewing the movies.

When I first heard that Robert A. Heinlein's classic sci-fi novel was getting the big budget treatment, I was psyched. Along came the teasers, and I absolutely loved the first Starship Troopers trailer. Several months and numerous previews later, the long-awaited pic hit theaters.

To say that the trailers were better than the movie is not fair. The special effects are phenomenal, the casting very good, direction sharp; and yet, I am somewhat disappointed.

As a fan of "giant bug" movies of the 1950s (of which, Them! is one of the best), I was expecting some suspense.

Instead, director Paul Verhoeven opts to have Starship Troopers unfold as series of news reports following the predominantly young cast in their charge against alien bugs out to destroy the human race. It is all done without care to scare or surprise anyone. Humor and irony are interspersed almost too carefully.

It is too matter-of-fact for this reviewer. I cannot help but think that it would all be more effective if Verhoeven had chosen to include more of the unexpected nastiness that dominated his last sci-fi film, the excellent "Total Recall".

© 1997, Delton Perrodin

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