I’ve recently dived into doing ”best of’ lists, so as I’ve explained, I’ve decided to do my top 20 SF films. This is my personal list, so feel free to disagree with it and of course, you’ll be horribly wrong.
Previously at # 20, The Matrix, 19, Seconds, 18, A Boy and His Dog, 17, Sunshine, 16, Dark Star, 15, Rollerball, 14 Altered States, 13, Close Encounters of the Third Kind ,12, Forbidden Planet, 11, The Star Wars Trilogy, 10. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, 9, Dark City and 8, 12 Monkeys.
Are you ready to fight the bugs? At number 7 it’s Paul Verhoeven’s mentalist SF satire based upon the book by Robert Henlien, it’s Starship Troopers.
This film has a reputation as being gung-ho nonsense from people who don’t seem to have watched it properly, let alone paid attention to modern history, but the film itself is more than a SF action film. It’s a razor sharp satire of American culture, especially it’s fixation with the military and how some see a life in the military as making someone a ‘real’ citizen. Starship Troopers points out the laughable holes in this, while pointing out how close to fascism this is which is something Verhoeven would have lept at due to the fact he grew up in the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands.
Starship Troopers tells the story of good look American actors not realising they’re in a pisstake playing it seriously as they fight bugs. Only the likes of Michael Ironside seems to realise it’s a film about what happens when a fascist military state invades another culture and the war that inevitably breaks out as the invaded culture defends itself against the invaders. This is why the film took on a special relevance during the second Iraq War when Bush’s America started to look more and more like the world of Starship Troopers with perpetual war against ‘the enemy’. Watching the film again in 2004 or so it struck me how incredibly brilliant a satire the film is.
However you can just watch it as a straightforward action film, or you can open up your brain a bit and let the full fun of the thing overwhelm you.
With the trailer, I’ve searched long and hard (well, for five minutes) to find the British trailer with Blur’s Song 2 as background music, because it’s a ton better than the boring American one.
Next time as we get near the top five, we stand still….