Only in Hollywood could a box office bomb end up launching a franchise that spawned a pair of direct-to-video sequels, two feature-length animes, and an animated TV series, but fans are just glad they got to see more of the Starship Troopers universe, even if the additional content is for the diehards only.
The blockbuster sci-fi appeared to go over many people’s heads when it first hit theaters in November 1997, with critics dismissing it as the latest in a long line of braindead, effects-heavy shooters with nothing under the surface, while audiences were only willing to part with $120 million in ticket sales, not ideal for a production that cost in excess of $100 million.
Fortunately, time has been kind to Starship Troopers, and it’s even amazing to watch it these days and wonder how Paul Verhoeven managed to sneak a razor sharp satire that dealt with themes of militarism, foreign policy, capitalism, fascism, propaganda, and much more past the studio top brass under the guise of an action-packed intergalactic adventure with nothing under the hood.
We’re glad he did, though, because the dementedly enjoyable end product remains a fun watch over a quarter of a century later, and it’s even making a splash on a surprising streaming service. As per FlixPatrol, Starship Troopers has been made available on Disney Plus in certain international markets, and it’s repaid that faith by ranking as one of the platform’s Top 25 most-watched titles globally.
Come for the spectacular set pieces, ignore the largely one-dimensional acting, stay for the biting acerbic wit and impressively orchestrated cosmic carnage.