Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
Director Paul Verhoeven (Showgirls, Total Recall) reunited many from his 1987 Robocop team for this $100-million science fiction adventure, adapted from Robert A. Heinlein's 1959 novel, originally serialized in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (October-November, 1959). After graduation, Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien) volunteers for the Mobile Infantry to do his Federal service -- but also to win over his girlfriend, Carmen Ibanez (Denise Richards), who has signed with the Fleet Academy to become a starship pilot. Johnny joins other boot-camp recruits -- Dizzy Flores (Dina Meyer), who has had a crush on Johnny since school, and Ace Levy (Jake Busey). Ace and Johnny become pals, and Johnny's abilities earn him the squad leader position. A training accident occurs on Johnny's watch, and he is about to resign when Earth is attacked by alien insects intent on eradicating all human life. Johnny's home, Buenos Aires, is no longer on the map. Horrified, he chooses to stay on and fight to destroy the insect threat. The Mobile Infantry travels to the planet Klendathu to battle the warrior bugs, a ruthless enemy with only one goal -- survival of their species no matter what. In the initial encounter, some 100,000 lives are lost. At a distant fort, Johnny's unit discovers that the bugs drain brains to acquire knowledge. Soon they are overwhelmed by an advancing arthropod army of immense proportions, attacking both in space and on the planet surface. The notion of human extinction becomes a possibility. For this $100-million production, some 300 artists and technicians combined models and miniatures with CGI effects to fashion a variety of creatures -- from breeder bugs to armored tanker bugs. The film employed hundreds of extras and has over 500 visual effects shots. Filming began 4/29/96 in California (LA and Long Beach, where Cal State's pyramid gym was used for the Jumpball game), New York, South Dakota, Wyoming (Casper, Hell's Half Acre), and Utah (an abandoned Wendover airstrip where the Enola Gay WWII bomber crew trained). At an abandoned airfield in Fountain Valley, California, an elaborate set was constructed to resemble a military boot camp of the future -- complete with an array of pup tents, gull-winged spaceships, hurdle obstacle course, and training facility buildings. Cinematography by Jost Vacano (Showgirls). Licensed products include Lewis Galoob Inc. toys.
battle [war], man-vs-aliens, Marines, destruction-of-mankind, military, alien [not human], attack, pilot
High Budget, High Production Values