Paul Verhoeven has fashioned a visually spectacular, morbidly funny comic book adventure that seems to merge the fresh-faced youths of the Archie Comics with the save-the-planet mandate of ÒBuck Rogers.Ó
In a new American suburbia that somehow winds up outside Buenos Aires, fresh-faced high school graduates compete not for prime college spots but top assignments in the great coed army battling hordes of insects the size of Quonset huts that scuttle around slicing people in half with razorlike pincers. Thanks to her high science scores, snub-nosed Carmen (Denise Richards) gets to be a fighter pilot while Johnny (Casper Van Dien), her hunky boyfriend (a 20 on his math final), zaps the big critters at infantry level. If Paul Verhoeven's film swivels disconcertingly from carnage to teen-age love story, he does have a way with crazed, lurid spectacle.
1997-11-07 | Janet Maslin | Read the New York Times Review of Starship Troopers