Top 365 Films – #297 – Starship Troopers (1997)

Top 365 Films - Starship TroopersDIRECTED BY: Paul Verhoeven

STARRING: Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards, Dina Meyer, Jake Busey, Neil Patrick Harris, Clancy Brown, Seth Gilliam, Patrick Muldoon, Brenda Strong and Michael Ironside

BUDGET: $100m

EARNED (Worldwide): $121.2m

AWARDS: None (Oscar Nomination for Best Visual Effects)



Humans in a fascistic, militaristic future do battle with giant alien bugs in a fight for survival.


Set in the future, Earth is united under a military organisation known as the ‘Federation’, where humans are at war with an alien race known as Arachnids or referred to as ‘Bugs’. Focusing on a group of friends that enlist in the military, tragedy strikes when the Bugs obliterate their home city of Buenos Aires, setting the military to retaliate by taking the fight to them by going to their home world planet Klendathu.


Starship Troopers is an oddball of a film to place on the list. I mean, acting wise in moments in can be hammed up to eleven, the high school drama of a love triangle (love quadrilateral?) can be soap operatic at times, yet it adds to the charm of the biggest budgeted B-Movie I can think of with the insanity that is to follow. Broken down into three acts (High School and the farewells, Academy training and the war), the film goes beyond tongue-in-cheek with its social satire that it slaps you in the face with it.  The special effects for the most part still hold up to this day (particularly with the mass amount of bugs) along with the direction of the films set pieces, with acting highlights going to Clancy Brown chewing up the dialogue as drill-instructor at the academy Sergeant Zim, Dina Meyer naturally pulling off the tough chick role really well and then Michael Ironside….well, he’s just badass. Starship Troopers will of course not be everyone’s cup of tea but I still find it entertaining…more so than the sequels that followed (but at least it had a pretty decent animated series).


FAVOURITE SCENE: The Roughnecks arrive at Planet P to investigate an outpost…only to discover the garrison is dead and it’s a trap. Cue absolute mayhem.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘This is for all you new people. I have only one rule. Everybody fights, no one quits. If you don’t do your job, I’ll kill you myself!’ – Jean Rasczak

DID YOU KNOW?: When Rico, Carmen and Carl meets with the recruiting officer after pledging, and the officer shakes hand with Rico, it is revealed that he has lost both his legs. This is not done with any means of special effect or other trickery, as Robert David Hall – the actor – had both legs amputated after an accident in 1978.

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