Dizzy: "My mother always told me that violence doesn't solve anything."
Rasczak: "Really? I wonder what the city founders of Hiroshima would have to say about that."
Carmen: "They wouldn't say anything. Hiroshima was destroyed."
Rasczak: "Correct. Naked force has resolved more conflicts throughout history than any other factor. The contrary opinion, that violence doesn't solve anything, is wishful thinking at its worst. People who forget that always die."
release year: 1997
viewing setting: most recently, home DVD, 3/29/15 and 6/9/10 and 7/23/02, plus the theater in 1997
synopsis: In the near future, some high school friends enlist in the military so they can be sent to a faraway alien planet to kill or be killed.
impressions: It seems that everyone - big-time critics, Heinlein fans, and regular people - hates this film. Not me. I accept it for what it is: an intentional gorefest with numerous comedic elements. We get to watch a bunch of young, naive kids join the military and then learn that war is, indeed, hell. There is much death here, and it's sudden and violent. When one of the alien bugs charges at you, it's a pretty sure bet that you're going to die. The sequence of war/battle events was broken up by over-the-top-funny newscasts depicting life and war in this future. The special effects and fighting action are plentiful and entertaining - and that's what movies are all about anyway: entertaniment.
things to watch for: The opening sequence of the landing on the bug world is good fun.
acting: There are two kinds of characters in this movie: young inexperienced kids and old, grizzled veterans. Casper Van Dien was the main hero, who goes from confused kid to experienced soldier. Dina Meyer is his friend who wants him but can't have him, so she follows him into the military. Jake Busey is a mouthy recruit who turns out to be a good guy. Michael Ironside and Clancy Brown have good roles as tough soldiers. Neil Patrick Harris is an ESP-possessing recruit who rises quickly through the ranks. The Denise Richards character bothered me; she was a flirt and she was annoying. She would do things like break into a big smile just after a large chunk of her ship was torn off.
final word: Good gory war action.
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