When Starship Troopers was released in 1997, the world didn’t quite know how to take it. Based on Robert A. Heinlein’s novel of the same name, critics interpreted Paul Verhoeven’s film as too militaristic, pro-war, and — in some cases — fascist, much like the book was perceived before it. What many failed to realize, however, was that the movie set out to criticize far-right ideology.

In actuality, Verhoeven didn’t even finish the novel — he found it too dry and boring. However, he didn’t need to finish it in order to form a critique of the author’s message. Right-wing politics was something the director grew ...

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