A kick-ass teenybop creature-feature spectacular. In the techno-fascist future, a group of young soldiers journey to a distant planet to engage in apocalyptic warfare with some very, very big bugs. The main predators are the Arachnids, spider/scorpion hybrids with razory legs that can poke through your chest in an instant. Directed by Paul Verhoeven, this hyperactive death-sport videogame turns its audience into vicarious Terminators. The movie is sensationally exciting, but its hey-kids-let’s-put-on-a-war! story line plays like Beverly Hills, 90210 recast as a military-recruitment film for the Third Reich. Starship Troopers could become ground zero for a new generation of thrill junkies — the first generation, perhaps, that won’t need, or even desire, movie stars. B+

Starship Troopers
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