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Dethroning Moment: Starship Troopers
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Enchanter468: During the Starship Troopers movie, the Roughnecks are heading through a canyon and one of them is snatched by a huge, flying pseudo-arachnid, which proceeds to land on a ledge and begins to torture the man with its stinger and bladed limbs. Lieutenant Rasczak calls for Sugar Watkins (another soldier) to toss him a specialized sniper rifle. He zooms in on the bug and its prisoner, and I'm expecting some kind of Crowning Moment Of Awesome where Rasczak snipes the Bug, but instead he shoots the wounded man (the one who had been screaming for help) through the heart...and lets the Bug get away. The Mercy Kill might be justifiable, but would it bother you too much to shoot the damn thing rather than letting it fly off to tell all its friends where all the tasty humans are?
Garm: What makes it even worse, is that he had plenty of time to shoot the bug before it started ripping the soldier apart, but he just watches through the scope as it rips into him, and then kills him. Also, why did Razak demand that they kill him after he lost his legs, when the rescue ship was right there? Remember how when the characters first go to enlist, the recruiter has fully-functioning robotic legs, payed for by the military...?
Azzizzi: Yeah, this is kind of a poor ripoff of a similar scene in The Sand Pebbles where it makes sense when Jake Holman (played by Steve McQueen) wants to shoot the Chinese who are torturing his helper, Po-han (played by Mako). The ship's captain orders Holman not to shoot at the Chinese because it will start a war. Holman shoots Po-han to put him out of his misery.
Galahad PC: While so much of the movie is blissfully stupid and enjoyable if you don't think too hard... try watching it with the commentary by Verhoeven and the writer. Many delightful moments include explaining how the actors aren't really in orbit around Jupiter (that's just a special effect, you see), constantly changing gears on what the movie was trying to be about, talking about how faithful they were to the "message" of the original book, and Verhoeven getting the point of one scene completely backwards until he was given a reminder. That stuff is just plain hilarious to listen to. No, the mind-boggling self-dethroning comes when they start talking about Carmen. It turns out that Carmen tested really badly in test audiences in every single demographic, everywhere in the world. Verhoeven's response? Clearly, the entire world just isn't ready for a strong and intelligent woman, who apparently never existed in fiction until 1997. Even better, they try to take credit for creating everything about her, when she was already a smart, talented and combat-tested pilot in the original book.
Snarf: Specifically, the original book makes a point of mentioning that women were more talented than men at space piloting (going into detail about reflexes, stamina, emotional stability, etc.) and only the very brightest people of either gender get into that particular assignment. Verhoeven, et.al. apparently didn't read thoroughly enough and want to blame the source material rather than their own casting decisions. Although there is a certain amount of Fridge Brilliance to not shooting the flying Bug—such lapses in judgement do explain why the humans appear to be losing the war rather badly.