Thursday, February 09, 2012

Reader's Choice: Starship Troopers

This is it. This is THE movie (next to "Cool As Ice") that people come up to me and say "Man, 'Starship Troopers' huh? That's a bad movie!" expecting me to go "Oh hell yeah! Fuckin' terrible dood! Fuckin' Sully, kid!" And then they wonder why I suddenly turned into a guy from Boston. But anyway, I have now finally seen "Starship Troopers" and I'm gonna tell you, I was not expecting that!

I was expecting cheesy fun. Some bad acting. Maybe bad CGI. Scenes that feature nothing but explosions and gun fighting. I was NOT expecting a weird movie starring a bunch of former TV stars and future has-beens. And I didn't know it was based on a novel, BY FUCKING Robert Heinlein of all fucking people!

Ok so the movie. It's sometime in the future. They never say the years so I'm gonna go with 289,989. In this future the "military" is replaced with this thing called "The Federation. They're not called "soldiers" they're called "Citizens", as opposed to "Civilians". It's all rather confusing and, ok maybe I'm not surprised Robert Heinlein wrote this.

Anyway, we meet Johnny Rico. Oh my fucking God I love that name. He's in I guess high school. Michael Ironside is his teacher and he's teaching about being in the Federation and stuff. Rico is dating fuckin' Denise Richards, who plays Carmen. And you won't believe who their friend Carl is played by. Seriously, if you haven't seen this movie, fucking guess.

Did you guess NEIL PATRICK HARRIS? Cause I sure as hell didn't. What the hell is he doing in a giant alien bug movie in 1997? Man! So anyway. Carl is psychic and he's trying to teach Rico how to be psychic, cause I guess it's something you can teach in the year 289,989.

So Rico wants to sign up for The Federation but his parents, who are rich, want to send him to Harvard. Pfft, so the world is WAY different 200 million years in the future, but fucking HARVARD still exists?! Love it! And yes, I'm aware of the symbolism here about either going to college or fighting in the army. But do you know why Rico wants to go into The Federation? Not cause he loves his country, or planet, or whatever.

It's because Carmen is going. That's all. Jesus.

OH! You know what else happens in the year 289,989? Football is now INDOORS! And men and women can play together! There's this chick named Desi who I thought was played by Keri Russell but she's Not Keri Russell, and she has the hots for Rico but he puts her in the "Friend Zone" OH SNAP! How do you like it, women?!?! AWWW YEAAH!!
Or is this?!?!

Is THIS Keri Russel?

After Rico fights with his parents and storms out of the house, he signs up for The Federation and he's put in the regular army fighting guys whereas Carmen is signed up to be a pilot. I'm gonna stress that Denise Richards is playing a character where she's a pilot. But then later, she plays a scientist, so maybe it was just jobs on her bucket list. If she ever does a movie where she's a nuclear physicist, I won't be surprised.

Anyway, Carl is sent to another part that's top secret cause he's smart. And psychic. Or whatever. So Rico goes to what's pretty much boot camp and it turns into "Full Metal Jacket" for a bit, with a drill sergeant yelling at everybody and making them do tough thing. Only difference is women are allowed.

So let's talk about this for a moment. A million years in the future, women FINALLY earn the right to get mixed in with men. There's a scene coming up that made me wish we were in that future now. Eh, I'll just tell you now. Men and women take showers together. And they're all out in the open about showing their tits and whatnot. It's an awesome scene. I almost cried.

So Carmen meets this guy named...Kevin? Sure we'll go with that. I'm horrible with names, I swear. Anyway, Kevin is this handsome type that makes Rico feel threatened. And he should. Cause after a week of being a pilot, Carmen tells Rico through "letter" (AKA, a video message) that they're breaking up.

Oh, and I almost wish I watched this movie with someone else so we can have this conversation:
"Is that Jake Busey?"
"Look at those teeth, that's a Busey alright."

Yes, Jake Busey shows up, as Ace, a guy in the army or whatever with Rico. Rico does a great job at simulating war that he's chosen to be the squad leader for another fake fight but with real bullets. He leads the way, but some dumb guy takes his helmet off and is instantly shot and killed.

Rico's punishment? A whipping. Seriously? It's the fucking future! Why not, I dunno, a dozen small robots with sharp teeth biting at his scrotum for 5 minutes? A whipping? And I love in movies where white guys are getting whipped, a black dude does the whipping. It's hilarious to me.

After the death of dumb guy, Rico thinks he doesn't have what it takes to be in the Federation, and is about to leave. He calls his parents and they're talking when the sky at his parents house gets dark and suddenly the call is cut off. Uh-oh!

Pretty much, and kind of out of nowhere, giant bugs from another planet attacks Earth and destroys several cities, including the city Rico, Carmen, and Carl is from. OH MY GOD you won't believe where they're from??


I thought "It must be ANOTHER Buenos Aries" but nope. They showed the map in the movie. It's fucking South America. So in the future, white people decide "You know, we could just take over EVERY city in the world and put our people there! HA!" I fell out of my couch when that happened. Man, it's the little things, let me tell you.

Ok, so Buenos Aries is destroyed and this gives Rico a reason to fight, so he stays in the Federation. Almost instantly, everyone is shipped to the bug planet to fight the bugs. And the instant they land, the humans get their ass handed to them. And Rico dies.

Yep. He dies. I didn't see that coming. So I guess we'll focus on Carmen as she becomes a pilot and fucks Kevin and-

Wait. What? They found Rico's body and put it in this container where they bring him to life?!? WHAT? They can bring people back to life?! WOW! So...can't they bring other people back? No? They won't? Why? Cause Rico is our hero and he's the only one in this entire movie that deserves to be bought back to life? THE FUCK???

So yeah, that part lost me. And as a result, Rico, Desi, and Ace are sent to another unit called The Roughnecks, which is lead by Professor Michael Ironside! And Ironside runs the Roughnecks with an IRON fist. HA! Get it? Cause....

Oh. He actually has a robotic hand in this movie. So...yeah.


The Roughnecks are sent back to the planet to scout for more bugs and go to a Federation base, where they find the bugs attacked and killed everyone besides the General, who pussied out and hid in a locker. They realize there's another bug, called The Brain Bug, who sucks out people's brains for whatever reason.

Carmen thinks Rico is dead so she fucks Kevin, I'm sure. Michael Ironside dies in combat, which puts Rico in charge of the Roughnecks for whatever reason. I guess it's like in that new "Star Trek" movie where Kirk went from ship stowaway to Captain in .09 seconds.

Rico demands that a "crazy pilot" shows up to save them. HMMM I WONDER WHO'LL THAT BE OH SHIT IT'S CARMEN! Rico also gets to fuck Desi finally but she too is killed in combat. Y'know, Rico, you KNOW that thing that BOUGHT YOU BACK TO LIFE?!?!?! Why don't YOU use it??? I mean, she's NOW you're girlfriend. Asshole.

Whatever. So the end as our heroes looking for this Brain Bug and they find it and he is one ugly motherfucker. Carmen manages to disable it when Rico shows up with a nuke, which could easily kill ALL THE BUGS but he doesn't. YOU ARE A SHITTY LEADER, RICO!!!

Instead, some other guy grabs the nuke and blows all the bugs BUT THE BRAIN BUG up. Turns out, off camera, some other guy captured The Brain Bug. That other guy? The drill sergeant. Wow. And so the movie ends with everyone promoted and they're off to fight another day!

And that was "Starship Troopers". It's a weird fucking movie which makes NO SENSE but...I still liked it. It wasn't horrible and it wasn't "so bad it's good" it was just kinda alright. I couldn't shut my brain off cause things just didn't make sense like WHY DIDN'T HE JUST BRING PEOPLE BACK TO LIFE?!?!?!?!?!??!?! UGH that bothered me so much. OUTSIDE of that, it's an enjoyable movie and I'll watch it again. At least there were tits in it. Oh, now I'm thinking about that again. Excuse me, I'm gonna go freeze myself. Don't wake me up until the year 289,989.


And that's it! Reader's Choice is now over! What a fun ride! As for the other movies from that list/poll, I will be getting to those soon enough. So thanks to everyone who voted and partook. I enjoyed myself.


Dylan said...

"If she ever does a movie where she's a nuclear physicist" - Bond?

Kevin? C'mon, his name is fucking...XANDER! What a name! There's actually a character actor I know of with that name, so it wasn't quite so weird when I first heard it here, but still...

"And I love in movies where white guys are getting whipped, a black dude does the whipping." - Haha, yeah, I laugh/cringe every time they do that. Cause that makes it all better or something.

What made you think Rico died? His leg just got stabbed.

"I guess it's like in that new "Star Trek" movie where Kirk went from ship stowaway to Captain in .09 seconds." - Amen. That was my biggest gripe with the new Trek. Nobody seemed to be bothered by the fact that, like, everyone is promoted to Captain and shit within a day. Whatever.

It was a different Brain Bug.

Gotta say, you claim to have enjoyed it, but I'm a bit disappointed that you only gave it 3 stars. Truth is, it's a movie that appears bad on the surface, but it's was carefully calculated and is pretty fucking brilliant. I don't think you mentioned any of the PSA things that show up - those things are hilarious. Would you like to know more?

Jason Soto said...

Why do I think he died? Cause after he got hit in the leg, he got a fucking stinger through his ENTIRE BODY!

And yeah, it was Xander. I couldn't remember the name for the life of me and I didn't feel like looking it up. And I thought she was something else in that James Bond movie, like a scientist or something. Oh well.

And what do you mean "it was a different brain bug"? They show it leaving. Rico tells his men where it's going, the room explodes, and then the sergeant guy captured it. It was the same bug.

I totally forgot about the PSA things. I was gonna mention it but I was talking with Nick while writing this and he distracted me. Would you like to know more?

Dylan said...

I'd need to watch the Rico "death" scene again - it's been a few months since I last saw it. :D

Though you're definitely right about the bug. Forgot about it leaving. Ok.

The one PSA with the military teaching the kids to stomp on the "bugs back home" is priceless.

The big question is...are you gonna watch the sequels (which are supposed to be fucking awful)?

Jason Soto said...

Yeah, I really wanted to mention them. Oh well, I'm glad you did anyway.

I might check them out in the future, but I'm in no hurry, since it doesn't star the same people and I'm guessing it's more of the same thing, with a smaller budget.

Dylan said...

Actually, I think Rico returns in #3. Ol' Casper's career never really took off...

Dan said...

I actually saw this in the theaters and remember finding it really stupid. I've heard a lot of people talking about its genius take on fascism, but all I remember is hideous acting and the bugs.

I'd totally forgotten that he died and was brought back. I'm not sure it will make me watch it again, though. Nice job with the fun post.

Dylan said...

Ok, I had to check it out again - Jason (and Dan): he does NOT get killed.

Watch the end of this clip:

They make it look like he gets killed as much as they can, but you don't see shit aside from a bug taking over the camera.

I've seen the flick at least 10 times and never once thought he was killed, at least not beyond maybe those 2 minutes where you don't know for sure on your first viewing.

Jason Soto said...

Dylan: Yeah, in that clip, as Rico is shooting at the bug (which does nothing) the bug JUMPS ON TOP OF HIM and you hear Rico screaming. How did he get out of it then if he didn't die and was bought back to life? If it just showed him getting stabbed in the leg, that's fine. And also, why was he listed "Killed In Action" if he wasn't dead at some point? They had injured soldiers left and right NOT listed killed in action, so why him? He had to have died at some point for the Federation to declare him that, only for Michael Ironside or whoever to recover his body and bring him back to life.

My point still stands!

Dylan said...

Takin' this to Twitter! Let's see how the people weigh in. :D

Though you're totally wrong. Don't you know when a director is faking you out? He was listed as KIA because there were 1000s killed, he appeared to be left for dead, and even the Federation makes mistakes.

SJHoneywell said...

I don't want to get into a "the book is better than the movie" rant, but I hated this film specifically because of the book.

In the book, we are promised a mobile infantry dressed in giant friggin' powered armor suits, capable of jumping hundreds of feet and launching grenades while simultaneously raining down massive amounts of pure firepower. We're promised guys running around with tactical nuclear strike capabilities strapped to their back.

What do we get? A whiny Casper van Dien in a bicycle helmet.

I want the powered armor, dammit!

simoncolumb said...

He's not killed and brought back to life. That is mental. The story isn't about resurrection - its about government, politics and fascism.

Great film.

Rico didn't die.

We THINK he is dead.

But he's not.