zaterdag 23 augustus 2008

Starship Troopers - Marauder (2008)

This is typically a movie for young people, especially boys who still like to play around with toy guns and who are the most likely army recruits later on in life. The movie is probably a bit too childish to most adult movie veterans and although admittedly it seems to have its goofy and spoofy moments, the overall tone of the movie is quite serious as well (there are no jars of artificial blood spared in this one!). Given its possible impact on a young viewing public I decided to treat the movie as a serious work of propaganda rather than let it slip away as a harmless spoof.

"If you're against the war, you're against us...", seems to be the boring du jour slogan of The Federation (which happens to be the central type of governing body of the states at hand). False dichotomous maxims like this remind me of the one uttered by no less a person than US President George Bush himself, who said not too long after 911 that: "You are either with us, or you are with the terrorists." Again, there's little resting ground for the pacifist. Consequently, war protesters are without recourse summarily executed since they are considered to be, quite literally, enemies of the state.

Thus it will comes as little surprise to the viewer that the movie portrays a society in which Martial Law is in full swing. Seemingly every government official is wearing an army uniform, a type of which is strongly reminiscent of wartime Nazi Germany indeed. Coincidence? I think not.

In the early moments of the movie, some of the main characters, who are military men and women from the Federation, have to defend themselves against hostile farmers. Since sympathy is granted to the military at the expense of the farmers, the movie makes it look as if the military also have the default moral upper hand. This condition is further accentuated when one of the main characters (the General) gets a serious ass-whooping from those wretched and immoral farmers.

In the eyes of the viewer, given the movie's unconditional moral preference for the military, the most ferocious kind of Fascism - Nazism - gets a huge endorsement by the movie.

In order to successfully fight the enemies of the Federation (mind you, I'm talking about the bugs now rather than the peaceful war-protesters) a crack military team is outfitted with an impressive type of high-tech exoskeletal robotic armour, of which the following is said in the movie: "The hardwire interfaces directly with your nervous-system." This suggests, at least in the military, that once a trooper gets his or her brain wired onto (external) hardware, nothing but good and prosper comes out of it. Of course, to stress viewer attraction towards (brain-)implants a bit more, imagery of nudity are joyously blent in with the movie scenery. This way, the attractiveness of the idea of future implants is boosted with sexual excitement.

It's quite remarkable that the movie portrays a society in which an almost perfect balance exists between male and female soldiers, even in the crack outfit. The movie makers seemingly went out of their way to avoid sexism at all costs. The feminists may be pleased with the outcome and the army recruiters may perhaps look towards times of welcoming more female recruits.

In one of the final scenes there's a remarkable confluence of two sequences: you see two women praying out loud and you see the hardware amped-up crack rescue team very effectively shooting away at the enemy bugs with "everything they got."

It is thus suggested that the gunslinger amped-up crack-team saviours are envoys of God himself as they respond to the prayers of the women. The viewer is left with the impression that military intervention sometimes earns no less a blessing than from God himself, especially if there are people praying hard enough for it. The salutation to God in the movie together with the Nazi character of the good-guys combined with its success in conquering evil suggests to the viewer that a Nazi kind of society is indeed sanctioned by God. And what an insane notion that is, but the naive viewer may be unlikely to notice this.

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