INSOMNIAC OBSERVATIONS: "Starship Troopers" (1997)

Republibot 3.0
Republibot 3.0's picture

This is not a review, but I had insomnia last night. Ended up watching Starship Troopers on Syfy as a potential cure, but it didn't work. First time I've seen the movie in 13 years or so, only the third time I've ever seen it.

What struck me about it this time, but which didn't last, is how bad the acting was. I mean, yeah, I knew Denise Richards and Casper van Diem are bad, but they're hired for their looks. But even Clancy Brown seems off. The only one who gives an on-level performance is Michael Ironside, and I think that's because he's really only got one level of performance he can do. I've never seen him do, you know, a musical or a comedy, or a drama. It's always just a gravelyvoiced kinda' ugly badass. It's almost as though the entire film was deliberately directed to have a kind of 'off' performance from everyone. Maybe in keeping with the propagandistic ethos of the film.

What also struck me was just how cheezy everything looked. Not the CGI, they did as best as they could at the time, but the actual sets. They're flat, visually uninteresting, they lack much in the way of detail. The control room of the Rodger Young, for instance, is an interesting design, nicely laid out, but whenever we see closeups, it's just bland. Things like Carmen's control yoke, for instance, are obviously just a stamped out piece of metal. I don't mean "It looks like it came from a factory and was mass-produced," I mean "It looks like it was made by a very bad propshop." Likewise, all the allegedly high-tech stuff, the scoreboard at school, the TV monitors, the uniforms, are all fairly clunky-looking, even for 1997. I remember being vaguely distracted by that at the time, but I'd forgotten it.

Which makes me realize that ALL of Verhoven's SF movies look similarly clunky, in addition to their obvious flat-grey bland Nazi aesthetic.

Odd. Thoughts?

All this is irrespective of the liberties they took with the story, of course. That's been adequately kvetched about elsewhere ad nauseam. I was just sorta' more interested in the look of the film.

Oh, and how many times must they have had to re-shoot the shower scene to keep something strategically in front of Dizzy's breasts for the TV edit of the film?

Tags: