Starship Troopers

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April 24, 2018
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(The Channel Awesome logo is displayed, followed by the title sequence)

NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. A long time ago, director Paul Verhoeven directed...

(Cut to a shot of a poster for...)

NC (vo): ...RoboCop. It was awesome.

NC: He also directed...

(Cut to a shot of a poster for...)

NC (vo): ...Total Recall. It was awesome.

NC: He also directed...

(Cut to a shot of a poster for...)

NC (vo): ...Basic Instinct, of which I've only seen...

(A shot of the controversial interrogation scene from the movie)

NC (vo): ...this scene, (A yellow smiley face pops up) but I hear the rest is awesome.

NC: And he also directed Starship Troopers.

(Cut to a shot of a poster for this movie)

NC (vo): It underperformed at the box office, got mixed reviews at best, left an awkward and confused feeling for many of the viewers who saw it...

NC: (becomes frustrated as he slaps his hand on the desk) ...AND IT WAS AWESOME!!

(The film's title is shown, followed by footage. "Emerald Singing" by Skyl1n3s plays in the background)

NC (vo): Though getting a bit of a cult following in recent days, at least enough to warrant shit-shaped, cookie cutter video sequels, (Images of all sequels are shown) many audiences still aren't sure what to think of this film. Is it secretly saying something provocative, just another hot people vs. monster movie, or both? People can't decide if there's an aggressive message to this movie or not, which, ironically, could be part of the film's intent. What do I mean by that? Well, let's take a closer look at this film to find out. Let's squash some bugs with some possible commentary on fascism!

NC: Half of you right now are going, "No duh", the other half of you are going, "No, duh." (Those two sentences are shown via captions) Let's take a look at Starship Troopers.

(The movie begins in the 23rd Century, starting with a Federal Network newsreel video that describes what is the Federation's Mobile Infantry and what are its goals)

NC (vo): It starts off with a recruitment video for the Mobile Infantry, the future's version of the Army.

Boy in Military Uniform: I'm doing my part, too. (Everyone else chuckles at that)

(When we briefly cut to the main part of the film, it is shown that it is shot in a way that isn't different from the training videos)

NC (vo): You'll notice, like in any commercial, everyone in the ad is beautiful. And when we enter real life, everyone is also beautiful.

NC: Rookie movie mistake, or a clever hint that this is all satire of possible future propaganda?

(NC then notices Malcolm and Tamara laughing at him)

NC: Laugh all you want, who I ain't used, but I'm convinced that there is more to this shit-buster than meets the eye.

Malcolm: It's not that.

Tamara: You don't have pants on.

(NC looks down...and it's revealed that he is, indeed, sitting without his jeans!)

NC: Ahhh! This is like a bad dream!

(Suddenly, NC wakes up from what was apparently a nightmare. He sighs in relief...only to see Malcolm and Tamara laughing at his lack of pants again)

NC: Oh, Christ! What are the odds?!

(Back to the newsreel part of the movie, which shows the planet of the Federation's enemy)

NC (vo): The film gives us background on the enemy Earth is fighting, the Bugs, as you'll notice it's almost comical how little information they give about them.

Fed Net Announcer (John Cunningham): Klendathu, source of the bug meteor attacks... / To ensure the safety of our solar system, Klendathu must be eliminated.

NC (vo): We never really get any more information than that. We don't even know why the bugs are throwing meteors at us, as the focus is more on just making the villains look evil and the heroes look strong together.

(Cut to one of the Bugs killing a trooper by breaking him in half)

NC: Maybe not entirely together.

(A news correspondent is shown to be doing a live report during the battle between the Bugs and the troopers)

NC (vo): A news report during an invasion on the Bugs is interrupted, which is a shame when you have such great journalistic lines like this.

Reporter (Greg Travis): It's an ugly planet! A bug planet!

NC: (as the reporter) Their interior design leaves much to be desired!

(The segments of the training video that show scientists dealing with the Bugs in a laboratory feature the censor bar covering the things the viewer might find disgusting or scary)

NC (vo): Good to know that while the future's PSAs censor out the gore, this live footage apparently is fine to post in primetime news!

(The reporter is impaled in the chest by the Bug's claw)

NC: (cheerfully) Look, kids! That might be Daddy bleeding strawberry jam!

Reporter: (as he is maimed, close to the camera) AAAHH! Oh, God! Oh, God!

(The camera breaks and the screen changes to static. Cut to a clip from The Simpsons episode "Deep Space Homer", showing Kent Brockman hosting the news)

Kent Brockman: And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I'd like to remind them that I can be helpful in rounding up others to... (A picture of an ant throwing a whip on the man appears next to Brockman) toil in their underground sugar caves.

(We are shown what happened one year before that. Lieutenant Jean Rasczak, played by Michael Ironside, is teaching a class of high school students. A young man named Johnny Rico, played by Casper Van Dien, is shown drawing)

NC (vo): Cut to one year earlier, as those future cadets are in school, learning about how that "one year earlier" cliche is going to be a staple of bad film openings in about 20 years.

Rasczak: Rico. Rico!

(Rico stops drawing and looks up, as we see that Lt. Rasczak has a half of his left arm chomped by a Bug)

Rasczak: Pay attention.

NC: (as Rasczak) Answer the question about why my arm is a baked potato.

NC (vo): This is Rico, played by Casper Van Dien, who has the hots for Carmen, played by Denise Richards. (A drawing Rico is making shows silouettes of him and Carmen in space) He draws cartoons of them getting together, because, as you can see, this is clearly the looking physique of your everyday average cartoonist.

NC: You may also notice that the teachings in this future are not quite as we're used to.

Rasczak: This year, we explored the failure of democracy. Something given has no value. And force, my friends, is violence, the supreme authority from which all other authority is derived.

NC: (as Rasczak) This is why President Alec Baldwin is the leader of our humble country. (A 2013 picture of Alec Baldwin attacking a paparazzi is shown)

(The students go to the big screen to know the score they got after their math exam)

NC (vo): Rico and Carmen go to see how they did on their finals.

(Carmen sees her 97% score and smiles)

NC (vo; as Carmen): I'm totally gonna be a rocket scientist in a Bond movie now.

(Rico, however, gets only 35%, which captures the attention of his friend, Carl Jenkins)

Carl (Neil Patrick Harris): (sarcastically) Thirty-five percent? Very nice.

NC: Wow, Count Olaf's latest disguise is his best yet!

NC (vo): He posts Rico's score in big letters to humiliate him...again, making you wonder what kind of world allows their option on their public they hurry to their Bug dissection class, led by (picture of...) Dr. Nefario.

(The biology teacher is an elderly woman in a lab coat, who's speaking with a German accent and wearing black glasses)

Biology Teacher (Rue McClanhan): We humans like to think we are nature's finest achievement. I'm afraid it just isn't true.

NC: (as Dr. Strangelove) We are to be bred (slams the table with his fist) und schlaughtered!

(After seeing Rico dissecting a Bug with his bare hands, Carmen vomits...a pretty strange-looking mash)

NC (vo): Indeed, it's a tough future where lab coats and gloves are for wimps and the weakest student coughs up potato soup in protest.

NC: You'll find people being covered in soup is a constant theme in this movie. (Two later scenes of Rico and Carmen's helmets splashed by orange and green Bug iquids are shown)

(Rico and Carl play poker, and it's Rico's turn to guess the right card while Carl tries to read his mind)

NC (vo): Oh, and psychics are apparently a thing in this future, too, as Count Olaf uses his telepathy to see if he can bring out psychic powers in Rico.

NC: Trust me when I say you're not gonna find much in Casper Van Dien's head.

Rico: I see...ace of spades.

(The card doesn't match with the six of diamonds one behind him. Cut to a clip from Ghostbusters, showing Peter Venkman revealing a card with a star on it in front of his students)

Peter Venkman (Bill Murray): Good guess, but wrong.

(Carl's pet ferret Cyrano climbs on the table)

NC (vo): Count Olaf, though, demonstrates his powers on his pet ferret.

Carl: Go bug Mom, Cyrano. (Cyrano runs off)

NC: (as Carl) And find my hosting of the Oscars amazing.

Rico: I sure hope you don't do anything like that to me.

Carl: Don't be afraid. Can't do human. (close up on him) Yet.

NC: Aaand he's offically scarier than the bugs. Again, I'm not sure if that's intended.

(The football game is going on between the teams Tigers and Giants, in the orange striped and blue-white leotards respectively)

NC (vo): We see that this future clearly doesn't have (poster of...) the film Concussion, as not only our football uniforms even less safe than before, but they partake in stunts even Goofy cartoons wouldn't be able to manage.

(The clip from the classic Disney short How to Play Football is shown. As both teams' players do some very unusual acrobatic moves during the game, NC takes the role of a commentator, his voice distorted as if he's speaking in a microphone)

NC: It's the Tony the Tigers vs...

NC (vo): ...the Fro-Zone Giants. They may be fascist, but at least they allow co-ed teams, which is a little confusing, but not as confusing as AT&T wanting to be associated with this bleak and violent future!

NC: I'm certain I'll have more questions than this film will have answers!

(Rico's parents visit him and help him prepare for the prom)

NC (vo; speaking normally): After the game, Rico gets ready to go to the big dance.

Mrs. Rico (Lenore Kasdorf): (adjusting Rico's bowtie) Who said you could grow up so fast, huh?

NC: Well, he is twenty-nine.

(Casper Van Dien's birth date is shown, which is December 18, 1968. Note that this film was released in 1997)

NC (vo): But his folks are upset at the idea of him joining Federal Service to go fight bugs after graduating.

Mr. Rico (Christopher Curry): It's that teacher, isn't it? What's his name?

Rico: Mr. Rasczak.

Mr. Rico: Rasczak? Silly name.

NC: ...Yes, it is. Thank you for doing my job for me, movie.

(Lt. Raczak from the introduction scene is briefly shown)

NC (vo): And, let's be honest: is it any stranger than the actor's real name? I think this character would actually be more awesome if they called him Michael Ironside! I don't think anyone in the audience would mind.

(Cut to the prom, where Rico's classmate, Isabelle "Dizzy" Flores (Dina Meyer), who had a crush on him from the start, is shown turning back after seeing Rico with Carmen)

NC (vo): At the dance, we discover that while Rico has the hots for Carmen, another girl named Dizzy...

(Cut back to a scene from before)

Mr. Rico: Silly name.

(Dizzy gets the courage to speak close to Rico)

NC (vo): ...has the hots for Rico.

Dizzy: After tonight, most of us probably won't see each other again.

Rico: Can't we just be friends, Diz?

NC: (as Dizzy) I mean, it is our last night together. Surely, I can start a relationship with you now!

Rico: Look, Diz, I want to talk to Mr. Rasczak.

Dizzy: Well, you better hurry up if you want to catch him.

Rico: You're the best. (kisses her on the cheek and leaves)

NC: (as Dizzy from Tiny Toon Adventures, shaking fist) Ooooh! Dizzy angry!

NC (vo): And now, Count Olaf's impression of Neil Patrick Harris pretending to be straight.

(Carl comes up to Dizzy with a frozen smile and slowly dances, clicking his fingers)

NC: (smiling nervously) Again, scarier than the bugs.

NC (vo): Rico finds out Carmen is joining Federal Services, too, but honestly, I doubt you'll be paying attention to that after I point out this guy.

(The camera flies above all of the graduates on the dance floor, and the green arrow shows on a lone young man weirdly moving his arms)

NC (vo; chuckles): What the hell is he doing?!

NC: I mean, (shows up both hands) there's jazz hands, and then, there's...

NC (vo): surrendering!

NC: I think this is dance surrendering!

(The following morning, Rico, Carl and Carmen come to the stand where a recruiting sergeant with a metal arm puts a stamp on their documents)

NC (vo): The next day, they sign up with easily the most chatty of office clerks.

Recruiting Sergeant (Robert David Hall): Fresh meat for the grinder, eh? So, how'd you kids do?

Carmen: I'm gonna be a pilot.

Recruiting Sergeant: Good for you. We need all the pilots we can get. (Cut to him speaking to Carl after stamping his document) Next time we meet, I'll probably have to salute you.

Rico: Infantry, sir.

Recruiting Sergeant: Good for you. (shakes his hand) Mobile Infantry made me the man I am today.

NC (vo): Another line would go a lot faster if you just give them their papers.

NC: (as a recruiting sergeant) So where you do you come from? I was born in Mississippi, back in a good old year of... (In the background, people are heard groaning) All of you are gonna hear my life story!

(We are shown the second ad named "A World That Works", showing a group of troopers showing their weapons to little kids)

NC (vo): After saying goodbye to one another, we cut to more propaganda, which, as you can see, is difficult to tell the difference between that and this film's reality.

(Cut to another ad, this time for a court show "Crime and Punishment")

Fed Net Announcer: A murderer was captured this morning and tried today. (An execution chair is shown) Execution tonight at 6:00. All net. All channels.

NC: Mary Hart will be hosting. (Beat) And then executed.

(The next ad for a show "Are You Psychic?" shows a man, played by Timothy Omundson)

Psychic: If you think you're psychic... (A third eye appears on his forehead) maybe you are. (The eye flashes)

NC: Hey, wait, that's bullshit! (The poster for the TV show Psych is shown) Lassie doesn't believe in psychics! Though his belief in demonic woodpeckers has gone up. (A shot from the 2017 movie Woody Woodpecker, which also has Omundson in a starring role, is shown)

(The recruits at Mobile Infantry camp are introduced to their Career Sergeant Zim)

NC (vo): Rico arrives to his new home to discover how aggressive it is.

Zim (Clancy Brown): I am your senior drill instructor, Career Sergeant Zim! (hits a recruit named Ace Levy (Jake Busey) in the stomach) Suck in that gut!

NC (vo; as Zim): I'm only here because R. Lee Ermey is too busy filming The Frighteners!* (The ghost of Sgt. Hiles from The Frighteners, played by Ermey, is shown)

  • Note: To be fair, R. Lee Ermey got a little role in Starship Troopers as well, with an uncredited cameo of a commanding officer whose voice was heard on speakers when the troopers were receiving gear for the battle

NC (vo): He does get a little company, though, as Diz is in the same group as him, as well as a show-off named Ace.

(At the cafeteria, Rico encounters Ace)

Rico: Get in line like everyone else.

Ace: (laughs) You got some guts for a rich kid.

NC: And you've got quite a career, considering you're related to Gary Busey.

(Another training session begins)

NC (vo): Ace finds out, though, what happens when you don't follow orders.

Ace: Who needs a knife in a nuke fight anyway?

Zim: Put your hand on that wall, trooper. (Ace does so)

NC (vo; as Zim): I'll show you to be a crumpled Jon Heder caricature!

(Zim throws a knife, nailing Ace's bleeding hand to the wall)

Zim: The enemy cannot push a button if you disable his hand.

NC: (as Zim) So just ask the Bug to put his hand against the wall, and you'll be good.

Zim: Medic!

(Cut to everyone showering: yes, men and women in the same room with no borders. Their private parts are censored)

NC (vo): If you think that's far-fetched, check this out: co-ed showers.

Rico: Djana'D, what about you?

Djana'D (Tami-Adrian George): Oh, I'm going in for politics, and, you know, you gotta be a citizen for that. So, here I am.

Rico: Ah.

NC: There's an irony that in a future trying to show that men and women are equal...

NC (vo): ... this was probably just done to get some booby shots.

NC: Granted, there are some side dicks...

NC (vo):  ...but they're pretty much on par with the Austin Powers naked scenes. (One clip from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, showing Austin covering his crotch with a present box, is shown)

NC: So, um...fascist-ish, progressive-ish?

(Carmen is shown serving with the fleet under Rico's high-school sports rival, Zander Barcalow, who is her boyfriend now. After that, we see the recruits divided into two teams playing "Capture the Flag")

NC (vo): Meanwhile, Carmen seems to be doing well with where she's stationed. While she flies around the set of Space Mutiny, Rico's group plays "Capture the Flag", launching him into the spotlight.

(The red and blue teams are in the middle of a firefight, and Rico almost hits his teammate Dizzy. Cut to a 2005 Red vs. Blue episode "Silver Linings")

Pvt. Lavernius Tucker (Jason Saldaña): You shot Church, you team-killing fucktard!

(The blue team wins. Cut to another live fire exercise, where the recruits are now confronted by large green-colored human figures. One of the recruits named Breckinridge has his helmet broken, so Rico takes it off of him)

NC (vo): But when they use live ammunition fighting the Toy Story Army Men, Rico tells a soldier to take off his malfunctioning helmet.

(Djana'D falls on the ground, and Breckinridge is killed by her accidental shot in his head)

Rico: MEDIC!

NC: (as Rico) I'm pretty sure we can still save him!

NC (vo): As punishment, the soldier who shot him is sent away*, and Rico has to get a talking-to by Hank from Breaking Bad.

  • Note: That wasn't punishment, Djana'D quit herself out of guilt

NC: I think the soldier getting sent away got the better deal. Hank is tough!

Commanding Officer (Dean Norris): Why did you order your man to remove his helmet during a live fire exercise?

Rico: Sir, I needed everyone in my squad operational, sir!

Commanding Officer: We'll try administrative punishment.

(After being demoted, Rico has to go through the flagellation process as a public punishment)

NC (vo): Administrative punishment, by the way, is getting your shirtless ass dragged in front of everybody and being goddamn whipped! Again, kinda feel like the soldier that actually shot the guy got off pretty easy compared to this!

Zim: (handing the coil over to Rico) Bite down on this, son. It helps. I know.

NC: (as Zim) I've gone through this, too. Just...not in public.

(Corporal Bronski (Teo) is the man who has to whip Rico's bare back ten times)

Bronski: One! Two!

NC (vo): As intense as this is, you have to wonder: where the hell did they acquire a guy to whip people? For the military, no less?

(Cut to a skit involving Tamara playing a job receptionist and Malcolm playing a man in a blue uniform, holding a whip and grinning creepily)

Tamara: So, it says here you have experience as a professional whippist?

Malcolm: Oh, yeah. Years of experience.

Tamara: And what made you want to pursue this profession?

Malcolm: Oh, you know.

(A moment of silence)

Tamara: No, I don't.

Malcolm: Well, sometimes, you just get tired of surprising friends and neighbors.

Tamara: Consenting friends and neighbors?

Malcolm: Then it wouldn't be a surprise, now, would it?

Tamara: No, you've got a point.

Malcolm: And I just decided that I want to give debts to community by whipping people for a good cause.

Tamara: We see this more as a tragic necessity than a good cause.

Malcolm: Sure, sure, but if you gotta do it, you might as well do it with a slightly aroused smile on your face.

Tamara: You are, by far, the scariest person I have ever met in my entire life. But thankfully, that's a qualification. You've got the job.

Malcolm: Whoo-hoo!

Tamara: Now, with all due respect, please attempt to never see me again.

Malcolm: (to himself, whispers) Why does everyone I ever meet always tell me that?

Tamara: (to herself) Yikes.

(And we go to a commercial. When we return, we see Zander and Carmen hanging out in the ship's control room, until they see a potential asteroid attack)

NC (vo): So while Carmen is out piloting the ship, an asteroid from the Bugs seems to be floating towards them.

Zander (Patrick Muldoon): Captain, we're in the path of an unidentified object moving toward us at high speed.

Carmen: Profile suggests an asteroid, ma'am.

(While Carmen looks in the ship's computer, the asteroid appears in front of the ship, in clear view for the two to see)

NC (vo; chuckles in bewilderment): Wha...? You need a computer to see that?

NC: I'd assume the qualifications to be in this army would at least...

(The asteroid is shown along with an added image of an eye test chart)

NC (vo): to spot the "E" on an eye chart. (The asteroid destroys a top part of the ship) That asteroid might be heading towards Earth, though, as Rico discovers, talking to his parents.

(Rico talks with his parents via video call on a computer screen)

Mr. Rico: Johnny?

Rico: Dad.

Mr. Rico: Where's your uniform?

Mrs. Rico: Bill.

NC: (as Mr. Rico) I mean, as a guy who didn't want you to join in the first place, I'm still a stickler for presentation.

(The computer screen suddenly fizzes and it fades to black, which the parents notice)

Mrs. Rico: Oh, my, what's that?

Mr. Rico: It's like rain.

Mrs. Rico: At this time of year?

Mr. Rico: Sure is dark.

(The computer terminates the call. NC is shown looking up above)

NC: What's that giant foreshadowing over us?

(Rico and the other recruits later witness the news report showing the asteroids destroying Buenos Aries)

NC (vo): It turns out that was from the asteroid, which smashed Rico's hometown.

(Rico sees the number of causalities, among them his parents, are over 8.764 people, which is still growing)

NC (vo; as deep-voiced announcer): Over eight million dead, especially Rico's parents.

NC: But... (Pounds his fists on each word) WHAT ABOUT BOOMER?!

(A stray dog is be lying dead, having been crushed and impaled by debris caused by the asteroid destruction!)

Announcer: (the accompanying text is shown onscreen as he speaks) Boom-oooooooh... No Boomer.

NC: Oh, okay. (Beat) I barely even knew Boomer.

(We come to another commercial "Do Your Part!", featuring four little kids squashing the bugs with their feet and their kindergarten teacher encouraging them)

NC (vo): One of my favorite laughs in the film probably comes from this.

Fed Net Announcer: The war effort needs your effort at work, at home, in your community.

(The kindergarten teacher is shown to be laughing very hard)

NC: (as the Fed Net announcer) As of now, cockroaches are officially being called "freedom bugs".

(The intro to the program "Countdown to Victory" is shown)

NC (vo): Even our heroes get a little time on the news.

(The reporter from the beginning of the movie comes across some of the troopers with a mic)

Reporter: Here's a bunch of MI kids that look like they could eat bugs for lunch.

Dizzy: Huh. Yum, yum, yum.

NC: (weirded out) Okay, granted, that's already a very awkward line, but that delivery did not make it any less awkward.

Dizzy: Huh. Yum, yum, yum.

NC: (as Dizzy) I got love in my tum-tum-tum.

Reporter: (to the camera) Some say the bugs were provoked by the intrusion of humans into their natural habitat; that a "live and let live" policy is preferable to war with the bugs. (As he speaks, Rico overhears him saying it)

NC: But then I remember the same guy who directed this also directed (poster of...) Showgirls, and that does put a crimp in our plausible commentary.

(Rico enters the cafeteria and encounters Carmen)

NC (vo): Rico comes across his old fling, though, as they seem to cross paths.

(Rico and Carmen salute to each other)

Carmen: (smiles) At ease.

NC (vo; as Carmen): I can't believe we're both working for Planet Spaceball.

(Zander comes up to both of them, prompting Rico to walk away)

NC (vo): But Carmen's new boyfriend seems to have some harsh words.

Carmen: Johnny, wait.

Zander: No, forget it, Lieutenant. He's Mobile Infantry. It just doesn't pay to be polite.

Rico: (turns to Zander) You got something to say about the Mobile Infantry?

NC: ...He literally just did.

(Rico and Zander get into a fight while Carmen helplessly watches)

NC (vo; as Carmen): How are my concerned stares not stopping this?

(Dizzy and Ace pull Rico apart from Zander)

Dizzy: He's not worth it! Come on! Mobile Infantry and Fleet don't mix.

NC: (as Dizzy) It's like Steven Seagal and acting. Just some things don't go together.

(An infantry invasion force is deployed to Klendathu, while the Fleet battles the Bugs on their spaceships)

NC (vo): They enter into Hero's Duty, as several of their ships are shot at.

(Carmen, while flying in a spaceship, ends up getting caught in a blast done by the Bugs)

NC: Oh, no! They'

(The spaceship that got blasted is shown to be remaining intact without a scratch)

NC (vo): ...perfectly fine in a later scene. (Carmen is shown only having a tiny scratch on her forehead) Like a little nick on her head, that's it.

NC: How good are these goddamn medics?

(Large plants on Klendathu blast spaceships with their plasma. Next, we go to where the movie started: a reporter in the middle of a battle between the Fleet and the Bugs)

NC (vo): They see the Bugs are literally shitting on them, so they try to attack. They show us the scene from the beginning, as the media continues to react to what's going on.

(We cut to a one-to-one talk show "Bugs That Think?", with two experts (Julianna McCarthy and Timothy McNeil) discussing the subject)

Female Expert: It gets smarter. Now, wait-

Male Expert: (overlaps) Insects with intelligence? Have you ever met one? I can't believe I am hearing this nonsense.

Female Expert: (overlaps) Would you...

NC: Who the hell invited the Mad Hatter to this conversation?

Male Expert: Brain Bugs? Frankly, I find the idea of a bug that thinks offensive!

NC: (as the male expert) Not as offensive as Johnny Depp playing me, but still offensive!

Female Expert: (overlaps) [Would you] just wait a moment? Maybe-

Male Expert: (overlaps) This is the most ridiculous conversation I have ever had!

Female Expert: (stomps on the floor, stopping the male expert) Maybe...

NC: Still a better show than Hardball.

(The operation is a disaster, so Rico, Ace and Dizzy are assigned to the elite unit "Roughnecks")

NC (vo): As our team recovers, they're given a new unit with a new lieutenant.

Zander: Attention on deck!

(The Roughnecks line up as their metal-armed lieutenant walks up)

NC: Well, this better be Bruce Campbell!

(The lieutenant is revealed to be Jean Rasczak)

NC (vo): Oh, it's Michael Ironside.

NC: ...Close enough.

Rasczak: Everyone fights. No one quits. You don't do your job, I'll shoot you.

NC: (as Rasczak) If you bring up The Next Karate Kid, I'll also shoot you.

(The raid on Tango Urilla begins with an air strike by TAC Fighters over a horde of Warrior Bugs on the planet's surface. After that, Rico is handed another weapon)

NC (vo): After giving a Bug bomb so big, you can put an Orkin logo over it, they go inside and take care of any surviving insects. And for a gun that could have given any generic explosion, this one makes one hell of a boom!

(Rico shoots out of the weapon and nukes a hole with the surviving Bugs. The explosion is COLOSSAL)

NC: (smiling widely, in a high-pitched voice) Mommy, buy me that!

(Rico finishes a Tanker Bug off, and after the raid ends, Rico and Carmen are covered in orange and green Bug liquids)

NC (vo): They take down one of the other big Bugs, proving that their blood is either pea-green soup or lobster bisque...

NC: I told you there'd be a soup theme.

(As the night comes, the Roughnecks stay on the planet to celebrate)

NC (vo): ...and they relax for the night, as Ironside brings out some entertainment.

Rasczak: Have fun! That's an order.

(The Roughnecks cheer and take the musical instruments)

Ace: This one's for me! (takes the violin and plays it)

NC: So violins are among the entertainment given to the troops?

NC (vo): I am so fascinated by this world where people who study the arts are ripped commandos.

NC: Maybe Matt Groening is more built than we think. (A picture that shows Matt Groening's head Photoshopped on a muscular man's body appears)

NC (vo): So Rico finally decides to give in to Dizzy's advances.

(Rico (who is promoted to corporal) and Dizzy take each other's shoulders and dance romantically. Ace, who's playing the violin, slides up and gives them a disapproving look. Rico and Dizzy just chuckle)

NC: This would be a lot more romantic without...

NC (vo): ..."the guy who just bought a windowless van" face.

NC: Again, being a Busey, it's amazing this is the first time I'm bringing this up.

(Dizzy and Rico go into the latter's tent and start to make love. The shot of Spider-Man and Mary Jane doing a famous upside-down kiss from the 2002 movie is shown briefly)

NC (vo): And if you thought the Spider-Man kiss was romantic, get a load of...this?

(Dizzy takes off her shirt, but stops midway through and covers her eyes with it, preparing for a kiss)

NC (vo; as Dizzy): Okay, I am literally smelling my pits. This is not as romantic as you think it is.

(Some time passes, and Rasczak enters Rico's tent, interrupting Rico and Dizzy's sex)

NC (vo): But Ironside tells them they're getting a distress call.

Rasczak: Report in ten minutes.

Rico: Yes, sir.

Rasczak: Who's that with you?

Dizzy: (uncovers herself) Flores, sir.

Rasczak: Make it 20 minutes.

NC: (as Rasczak) More people can die, as long as you're getting nookie.

(The Roughnecks arrive on Planet P to investigate what happened there. Their radio operator, Gillespie, is grabbed and carried away by a Hopper Bug. Rasczak uses a rifle to mercy kill the tortured Gillespie)

NC (vo): One of the soldiers gets caught by a flying Bug, though, and Ironside shoots him, as opposed to the monster.

Rasczak: I'd expect anyone in this unit to do the same for me.

NC: (as the Roughnecks) Okay. (pretends to take a rifle and shoot out of it wildly)

Rasczak: Rico.

Rico: Sir.

Rasczak: You're acting sergeant. Move 'em out. (walks away)

Rico: (to the Roughnecks) You heard the lieutenant!

NC (vo; as the Roughneck): Actually, we didn't. He talked very softly. Why are we following you?

(While inspecting the base, the Roughnecks discover that the Bugs killed all the personnel at Whiskey Outpost. Rasczak then comes across the dead outpost garrison's radio operator Lieutenant Farley to find a hole in his head)

NC (vo): They come across one of their bases the Bugs attacked while they say the line any good movie of quality should have...

Rasczak: They sucked his brains out.

NC: Any film that says that is on the right path.

(Only moments later, hundreds, if not thousands, of Bugs swarm the outpost, and the Roughnecks fight them)

NC (vo): The Bugs attack, though, as our team is stuck in their Alamo.

(Rico and Dizzy report for help via radio)

Rico: This place crawls, sir. We need pickup now!

Radio Operator: What's your position?

Rico: Come down on this transmission.

Radio Operator: Inside the outpost? That's crazy!

Rico: Well, I hope you have a crazy pilot. Out!

NC: (as Rico) And it better be my girlfriend! It'd be dramatically convenient!

(Carmen and Zander appear on their flying ship, and the Roughnecks begin to evacuate the Planet P, but a Bug appears out of the sand and bites off Rasczak's legs)

NC (vo): Sure enough, that is who comes to rescue them, but sadly, at the cost of their dear lieutenant.

Rasczak: Rico! You know what to do.

Rico: Yes, sir! (takes out a rifle)

NC (vo; as Rasczak): Carry me to the shi- Wait, what are you doing? I only lost my legs, I've lost lives before- (Rico shoots him in the chest and the sand buries him) DAH! I turned down five episodes of Jett Jackson for this?

(Dizzy nukes the Tanker Bug and cheers)

NC (vo): He's not the only one who gets exterminated, though. Dizzy smiled for a second, which, of course, means she has to die.

(Another Bug impales Dizzy through her chest. Everybody gets on the ship, and the two remaining Roughnecks get covered in flames from the Bugs and die)

NC (vo; as the Roughneck): We're being Mars Attacks to death!

Rico: You're gonna be alright, Diz.

Dizzy: I got to have you. (She dies)

NC: (as Rico, sobbing and singing) Rain will make the flowers...grow...

(The Roughnecks and the Fleet gather together as Dizzy is given the military funeral)

NC (vo): It looks like they give her a funeral, which must have been tricky, seeing how you have to mourn the loss of a person named Dizzy without cracking a smile.

Rico: Dizzy was my friend. She was a soldier.

NC: (snickers) I couldn't have done it. Van Dien, you're a better actor than I give you credit for.

Rico: But more than that...she was a citizen of the Federation.

NC: (as Rico) Of all the souls I've ever encountered...she rocked the most in the sack.

(A coffin with Dizzy is send away into space. After that, Carl, now a high-ranking colonel in intelligence, and his group, appear at the funeral. They are dressed into black coats and caps that are eerily similar to the Nazi ones)

NC (vo): And if there's anyone who doesn't still think this is a satire of aggressive fascist propaganda, just look at how they dress Doogie Howser in this scene.

Rico: The Bugs laid a trap for us, didn't they?

Carl: Elegant proof of intelligence, isn't it?

Carmen: You knew, and you sent them anyway?

Carl: You don't approve? Well, too bad. We're in this for the species, boys and girls. It's simple numbers.

NC: I could actually take him more seriously...

(A clip from The Simpsons episode "Bart the Murderer" is shown, showing a crime drama Blood on the Blackboard: The Bart Simpson Story that stars Neil Patrick Harris as Bart on the family's TV)

NC (vo): Bart Simpson killing someone in a TV movie!

NC: This is kind of adorable!

Carl: And every day I have to make decisions that send hundreds of people like you to their deaths.

Rico: Didn't they tell you, Colonel? That's what the Mobile Infantry is good for.

NC: (as Carl) Oh, yeah. They told us that. That's why we sent you. Pfft.

(Carl promotes Rico to lieutenant and gives him command of the Roughnecks. They have to return back on Planet P to capture the Brain Bug for research. Carmen's ship is the one that the Roughnecks operate)

NC (vo): So they go into attack again, and somehow, they don't figure to spread out their ships rather than keep them clustered together. Kinda making you easier to hit, isn't it?

(Once again, the ship is caught in a blast by the Bugs and gets teared into two)

NC (vo; as Carmen): Oh, no! I think they actually mean to kill us off this time!

NC: It's okay! You'll just get a scar...

(The scene of Carmen with a scratch on her head from before is shown)

NC (vo): ...right here.

NC: It's fine.

NC (vo): How's this for an embarrassing end? Death by door.

(A female trooper has her legs cut by a closing metal door)

NC: It's okay. Doors have outweighted the smartest of sci-fi characters. (The poster for Signs is shown)

(Carmen and Zander flee the ship in an escape pod and crash-land on the Planet P's surface, right in front of the Bug tunnel. Carmen is impaled through her shoulder, and both her and Zander are captured by a Brain Bug)

NC (vo): Carmen and her boyfriend make it to the planet, where they're captured by the Bugs and taken to Judge from The Wall? (The brief clip of the trial sequence from Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982) is shown, featuring a worm judge designed as a giant pair of buttocks)

Worm Judge: (audio, singing) The evidence before the court is incontrovertible!

(Meanwhile, the Roughnecks hear not only Carmen Ibanez's distress call, but also them getting attacked by Bugs before losing radio contact)

NC (vo): Rico wants to save them, but knows the odds of them surviving are slim.

Sugar Watkins (Seth Gilliam): Rescue party!

Rico: Cancel that! You know as well as I do, she's already dead.

NC: (as Rico) Aside from a love scene in Wild Things, her career is basically over!

(The Roughnecks go on the Planet P and enter the Bug tunnel)

NC (vo): So they go to take out the Bugs, and...

Rico: Carmen's down there.

Ace: But word has it she's dead.

Rico: She's still alive.

NC: (flabbergasted) Wha...? But I thought you said she was dead! How many times can she die in this?!

(Carmen, who had survived, joins Rico, Ace and Watkins, grabbing a rifle and firing it at the Bugs)

NC (vo): Well, apparently, at least one more time as, despite being stabbed through the chest, she picks up a gun and starts firing it like nothing's happened to her.

NC: What kind of milk is she drinking? 'Cause she's goddamn indestructible!

(They return to the surface and find many troopers outside. They have already captured the Brain Bug, and Carl goes close to it)

NC (vo): They pull out the Anus Queen, as Gestapo Patrick Harris reads its mind.

Carl: It's afraid. It's afraid! (Everyone cheers)

NC: Hey, I'd be afraid, too, if I knew I was gonna see you in two Smurfs movies.

NC (vo): So Heil Patrick Harris sums up who's really to thank for today's victory.

Carl: This is when it turned. And it wasn't the mighty Fleet, it wasn't some fancy new weapon. It was a drill instructor named Zim who captured a Brain.

Rico: Zim?

NC: ...Who the hell is Zim?

NC (vo): Oh. The drill instructor. I guess he was busy defeating the main Bug while we were focusing on our heroes. Kind of odd.

NC: I, eh... Go, Zim. We apparently couldn't have done it without you. (Beat) Who the hell were you again?

(Another newsreel video starts up, showing how the troopers' life and mission have changed)

NC (vo): The film ends as it begun: with a recruitment video urging people to join their battle and fight the Bugs.

Fed Net Announcer: Soldiers like Private Ace Levy and Lieutenant John Rico.

Rico: Come on, you apes! You wanna live forever?!

NC: Well, she practically is. (Carmen is shown as a captain of the Fleet) Seems doable.

(The movie ends with a giant caption "And They'll Win!". We then cut to "Deep Space Homer" clip again, showing Kent Brockman instantly removing the "Hail Ants" paper from the wall)

Kent Brockman: Oh, yes, uh, by the way, the spacecraft still in extreme danger, may not make it back, attempting risky reentry, bla-bla-bla-bla-bla-bla.

NC: And that was Starship Troopers. Is it really just another dumb action flick?

(The movie's clips are shown as NC lists his final thoughts on it)

NC (vo): Don't get me wrong. It's cliched, overblown and has a lot of generic characters, but I think that's the point. The whole film is shot like propaganda, making you imagine yourself as the heroes, crave blood and immerse yourself in the battle. When someone dies, it's because of those damn Bugs, and any criticism to understand why this war is even happening is pushed off to the side for loud war cries. If you look at this as a film that would be shown in their universe, which again, isn't difficult, given the PSAs they show, it can display an interesting mirror showing what we can look like when we get more focused on destroying our enemies, rather than finding other ways to peacefully solve the problem. And that's just one way to look at. There's many other ways you can read into this if you choose to go looking for it. Maybe you don't want to; maybe you just want to see a shoot-'em-up bug movie, and as those go, this isn't that bad at that either. But I truly believe there's more to this silly-looking film than meets the eye.

(NC hears Malcolm and Tamara laughing at him again and gets annoyed)

NC: Oh, I see. You still don't believe me.

Tamara: No, you don't have pants on again!

(NC briefly looks down)

Malcolm: No, just kidding. This time, we don't believe you.

NC: You know what? Fine! Because in the future, people will see this for the masterpiece that it is.

Tamara: It is the future. This film is over 20 years old.

NC: Well, people are starting to realize its brilliance.

Malcolm: I never heard anyone talking about it.

NC: Well, they will.

Tamara: They won't.

NC: If I raise enough awareness...

Malcolm: You never will.

NC: I have the determination.

Tamara: You're unbelievably lazy.

NC: Fine! Just laugh all you want!

Malcolm: Oh, we will. (Tamara chuckles) But it's because you're naked now.

(NC looks down again...and this time, he's wearing nothing underneath! This is blocked by a censor bar)

NC: (screams) How is this happening?!

Malcolm: (bends down slightly) Is your penis actually a censor bar?

NC: (covers himself in embarrassment) It's a very specific birth defect!

(The credits roll)

Channel Awesome tagline - Dizzy: Huh. Yum, yum, yum.

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