The basic truth about Paul Verhoeven's 1997 follow-up to his legendary 1995 Showgirls is obvious from the start: this isn't Oscar bait, especially from lead actor Casper Van Dien, who plays aspiring pilot Carmen Ibanez. The only actors that stand out are Clancy Brown and Michael Ironside, who both excel at directing the film.
Troopers is set in a future where Earth is unified under a fascist military organization called the "Federation." Citizens are permitted to vote, run for office, and have access to free education, and requests to bear children are harder to obtain.
Johnny and his fellow troopers travel to Klendathu to kill the huge, deadly space bugs they've named Arachnids. They're later ordered to retreat because to a mistake. The Roughnecks investigate a large underground area where a brain bug is about to suck the brains of Carmen, who crashed into the spot with her now-deceased (and brainless) co-pilot. The Roughnecks learn how the bugs think and manipulate the tide of war in their favor.
The second half of Starship Troopers is unapologetic, full-on action from start to finish, bolstered by incredible, imaginative special effects (fun fact: Starship Troopers was nominated for Best Visual Effects at the 1997 Academy Awards, but lost to Titanic), bringing to mind the constant lopping off of hands in previous Star Wars films. The theme of Aliens is also apparent, with the 'bug hunt' referencing the Arachnids.
The real strength of the film is its satire. Where RoboCop uses television clips and fake advertisements to deceive citizens, Troopers are far more pointed. They depict a Nazi-like regime that is accepted and is working; the ads are far superior to those that are used in other films.
Starship Troopers, an action-packed popcorn flick, sets its sights high, and the story it tells you is even more relevant today almost frighteningly relevant.