Paul Verhoeven's "Starship Troopers" is an incredibly stupid movie. It may be stupid on purpose, but it's still stupid. Done in the style of a gung-ho war movie and "Triumph of the Will"-esque military propaganda, the director claims that it was intended to criticize the attitudes it portrays. However, you can't satirize an idea by simply presenting that idea in the exact same way that its proponents do! Starship Troopers the film runs afoul of the generalized Poes Law; it won't be perceived as ironic because there are other people saying the exact same thing that actually mean it. The military's horrible failure may have been intended as a criticism of Hollywood Tactics, but the fact is that there is nothing at all to distinguish the "satirical" use from the many other stupid movies in which armies lose because they're being idiots who really, really should have known better. The "bugs", as they are portrayed, could probably have been beaten by an army using equipment from the American Civil War, and they'd be helpless in the face of machine guns and artillery pieces from World War 1. There is such a thing as bad satire, and the difference between a stupid movie and a movie that's stupid on purpose because it's "satire" is that there is no difference◊. Anyone who thinks the movie is clever is watching the movie Verhoeven wanted to make, rather than the movie he actually did make.
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