Opinions on this film diverge. Some say it is immature, other say it is only a gathering of gratuitous violence. Some others complain about feminism, of nazi propaganda and for many other things that I do not totally grasp. Maybe the comic book on which the film is based should be blamed but I do not believe that this film has anything to be reprimanded for. Certainly, the style reminds us of passed massacres and all the “nice guys” have different tints of blond hair, light-coloured eyes and we also witness an explicit dissection but that is all.
To be more objective, I would like to concentrate my attention on the bizarre nonchalance that is omnipresent throughout the film. A general invites his soldiers to defy him in combat and, in one second, tears off his arm as if this were his usual morning exercise. He doesn’t seem to be affected by the fact that he has just inflicted a handicap on a soldier instead of strengthening him. Furthermore, to make the situation even more ironic, a few other soldiers laugh as if they would have just witnessed someone get hit by a pie in the face.
It is because of such situations that we constantly question ourselves on the film’s seriousness. Also, there is a tremendous loss of life, with explicit and violent death scenes. To add to the oddity, these massive combats are separated by humoristic teen behaviour. For me, this is what made the film special. It works for me but I doubt this is the case for everyone.
As time passes, our heroes increase in grade, the body count rises, the end of the world happens but the dramatic aspect remains the love triangle (or square) between Dizzy, Johnny, Carmen and Zander. Johnny is the film’s ultimate hero. He stays attached to Carmen who refuses any engagement outside of her career. Luckily for her, Zander is part of her career because they are co-pilots. Ever since high school, Carmen has given too much of her attention to Zander and this drives Johnny crazy. It obsesses him to the point where he ignores Dizzy, who is truly in love with him. Johnny prefers to consider her a friend. Do you believe that this resembles the usual formula? You’re right but the manner in which it is orchestrated in Starship Troopers makes it really entertaining and emotive even though the characters do not reveal their emotions.
Starship Troopers is the best film to get a change from our regular lives, to witness a maximum of graphical violence and to appreciate a good science-fiction film with a strong flavour of horror. All the heroes are adolescents that are followed from their graduation to their death (in certain cases); therefore, spectators in their twenties are those who will best relate to the characters.