Title: Starship Troopers
Author: Robert Heinlein
Publisher: Ace Science Fiction 1959
Rating: 4/5 stars Movie: 2/5
Reading Challenges: Scifi; Mount TBR; Book2Movie
How I Got It: I own it!
In one of Robert Heinlein’s most controversial bestsellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the Universe–and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against mankind’s most frightening enemy.
J’s initial assessment is that I needed to read this before reading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. According to him, it’s a political philosophy treatise in disguise. And I agree completely. The summary above is really only a tiny part of the book. Interspersed with stories of boot camp and the war with the Bugs, we get discussions of philosophy. Throughout the book, I lived for those parts. At times, I found myself skimming a bit, but then a good paragraph would pop up. Some of my favorite passages:
“Nothing of value is free. Even the breath of life is purchased at birth only through gasping effort and pain. . . . The best things in life are beyond money; their price is agony and sweat and devotion . . . and the price demanded for the most precious of all things in life is life itself–ultimate cost for perfect value.”(pg. 93)
“War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government’s decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him…but to make him do what you want to do. Not killing…but controlled and purposeful violence. But it’s not your business or mine to decide the purpose of the control. It’s never a soldier’s business to decide when or where or how—or why—he fights; that belongs to the statesmen and the generals. The statesmen decide why and how much; the generals take it from there and tell us where and when and how. We supply the violence; other people—’older and wiser heads,’ as they say—supply the control. Which is as it should be.” (pg. 63)
So the creators of the movies took about 10 pages of the book and created a whole B style science fiction movie. It’s not absolutely horrible, but it buries all of the interesting points about morality, citizenship, war and franchisement in crazy action sequences and a love story. Plus there is really some bad acting throughout this movie. The leads are just so flat. I did enjoy Sergeant Zim and Mr. Rasczak, but that’s really about it. Definitely not a movie that I will ever own. Thank goodness Netflix had it on instant streaming. (And the sequels are even worse)