Netflix movie of the day: Starship Troopers is a bug-blasting sci-fi satire that’s far from subtle

Starship Troopers, like Fight Club and American Psycho, is a member of a select group of movies whose satirical intent sailed right over the heads of many moviegoers. It’s a deliberately over-the-top take on the war movie as militaristic propaganda, a film that’s taking the mickey with its cast of beautiful, sexy people with beautiful, sexy bodies, beautiful, sexy teeth and beautiful, sexy guns set in a future America where you’re only allowed to vote if you’ve served in the military and agree that violence is the answer to pretty much everything. If you’ve played Helldivers 2, this is where that game got all its ideas (and its killer alien bugs) from.

A high school movie with a massive body count

Starship Troopers is based on the novel of the same name by Robert A Heinlein. That novel, published in the late 50s, is pretty fascist. But the movie takes the source material and subverts it. Director Paul Verhoeven absolutely hated the novel, which he said was “quite bad” and “very right-wing”. So he amped up the fascism and made it so over-the-top that only someone very stupid would take it as a celebration of militarism. 

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