The movie Starship Troopers is an utter failure as an adaptation of Robert Heinlein's revered classic science-fiction novel, which is enough to damn it in the eyes of many fans. But if you can get past that, you'll enjoy the film on its own merits. Like director Paul Verhoeven's first genre classic, Robocop, Starship Troopers is a skillful blend of black humor, over-the-top action and unsubtle social commentary that can be enjoyed on many levels. On one, it's brainless space opera, the ultimate cheeseball B-movie sci-fi shoot-'em-up epic about a group of friends who join Earth's military forces to fight an evil alien menace threatening humanity. Take a deeper look and it reveals itself as a darkly funny, tongue-in-cheek take on a xenophobic and militaristic fascist society that's not worlds removed from our own. The CGI bugs and space battles have aged passably well, considering the movie is more than a decade old, but the commentary is funnier, creepier and more powerful today, in the era of the War on Terror, than it was a decade ago, when the film was released.
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Catch Starship Troopers at midnight on Friday, September 19, and Saturday, September 20, at the Landmark Esquire Theatre, 590 Downing Street; call 303-352-1992 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.