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  • Why does everyone insist that this movie is "based off the cover of the book?" Speaking as someone who has actually READ the book, I can tell you that certain scenes are included word-for-word, including nearly everything in the classroom and Rico's encounter with the one-armed recruiting officer. And little details like the special tearaway shit used for flogging also found their way in, which shows at least someone was paying attention. I'm not saying it's an especially faithful adaptation: we still lose the suits, the skinnies, and several long boring training sequences, but it's more than just an unrelated movie with the title slapped on, like so many are fond of saying. (Before you bring it up, yes I know it started as an unrelated script, but there were clearly some major rewrites)
    • Because the tone of the book and the tone of the movie are utterly different? That it ditched the book's admittedly ham-fisted pro-military conservative tone and message of What It Takes To Be A Man and tossed in a clumsy "satire" bashing the very pro-government, pro-military ideals the book was based on? Because the book's biggest twist (Johnny's race) was sacrificed on the altar of Dawson Casting?
      • In addition, director Verhoeven openly admitted that he only read the first few chapters of the book.
      • You do know that the director doesn't WRITE the movie?
        • Director has a good deal to do with the tone of a movie, which is one of the most radical departures of the film v. the book.
    • I wouldn't even give the movie that much credit, considering that the book's cover shows Powered Armor. To be more accurate would be to call it "based on the title of and some of the names in the book".
    • Maybe because the scenes that WERE preserved had their messages changed and bits removed that would have explained their context within the society better. For instance, they removed the scene where Johnny encounters the legless recruitment officer after work wearing his PROSTHETIC LEGS and inquires as to why he takes them off to work. And the recruitment officer immediately explains that the government is sick of all these people joining the military and having to find make-work for them to do and that the military is really not so much dangerous as it is boring. Also the scene where the OCS instructors explain that the main reason they continue limiting the franchise the way they do is essentially just because society continues to function.
      • The most egregious example of a scene being changed was the explanation of why they need to know how to use knives when they can just push a button to Nuke'Em. Even if the scene in the movie was much more entertaining. In general, the "Based on the cover of the book" complaint is both overly snarky AND Defictionalized, with the books published after the movie came out featuring a modified version of the movie poster (making it a Book Cover Based On A Movie).
    • The Movie was originally written as "Bug Hunt at Outpost 9". When the producers heard there was a book where people wage war on bugs, they bought the rights, changed the title, the names of a few characters, and wrote a couple of scenes from the book in. That is the extent to the novel's influence on the movie. Shame.
  • Throughout most of the movie, and even lampshaded in one of the instructional videos, it is clear that the small caliber automatic rifles they issue the Mobile Infantry are almost useless when trying to kill the bugs. Then, at one point one character gets wounded and pulls out a shotgun, possibly the only one seen in the entire movie. For a few seconds, it's one-shot-one-kill on every bug he aims at. So... why no general issue shotguns or (even better) auto-shotguns?
    • I don't know what film you were watching, but Rico fires 6 or 7 shots into ONE bug to bring it down then runs out of ammo shooting the second one. Buckshot has low penetration and rarely goes through body armor (to which I imagine bug carapace is similar in durability). If he and the rest of the MI use slugs to deal with the penetration issue, then they have to aim directly at the nerve stem and if they miss they have to fire another one of their shots, of which the Ithaca 37 (which is the actual gun used in the Marita props) only holds between 4 and 8 depending on model (probably 4 due to the length of the underbarrel but increased to about 10 or 12 in the film). In short, you either need Improbable Aiming Skills or you'd need to spend about half of your magazine taking down one bug, the other half taking down another then begin the painfully slow reload process of a pump shotgun all while thousands of other bugs are charging toward you and your mates. In standard MI squad size (4 people) that equates to about 8 dead bugs per 4 dead troopers.
    • The "shotgun" is just the automatic rifle to burst fire. The difference there was Rico was aiming at the bug's nerve stem.
    • But the standard rifle has a shotgun underbarrel attachment. You can see Rico using this in the first battle, complete with a pump action, and a second barrel underneath the main one that is firing.
      • Perhaps it is an issue of range? Great weapon up close, as he was forced to be by injuries and situation, but ones life expectancy at that distance is considerably lower. Good analogue of most video game style shotguns too!
      • We also see the shotgun used to take down one of the fliers (the one that ends up falling on the General). The fact that the shotgun is underutilized isn't any more egregious than the underutilization of any of their other weapons, including the Ba-Nuke-as and the bombers.
      • In addition to the general in-effectiveness of the MI's main weapon, it is also a very large and bulky weapon. The current trend, IRL, has been to decrease the size and weight of infantry rifles. This isnt being done to make troopers lives easier, but to reduce fatigue. But this is mainly so they can carry more ammo. The MI's main weapon, even if they do use composities, still looks heavy, and also very clumsy to aim and fire. The prop bit that shows MI troopers handing out bullets to the children clearly indicates the weapons are not caseless, and the shell caseings are huge. Carrying any quantity of ammo for such a weapon would be beyond tireing. Especially for a force that has no motorized ground transport and seems to walk everywhere. Michael Ironsides Character is shown useing a small-compact carbine, it seems no less effective than the MI main rifle, is far easier to handle and fire, yet he seems to be only one that rates such a weapon.
  • Does anyone else think this movie makes a good Deconstruction of action movie tropes? The Excuse Plot is actually government propaganda, the Hollywood Tactics fail spectacularly and the Heroic Sociopath is also a Villain Protagonist.
    • That's the point of the movie.
  • When Dizzy dies, they put her body in a coffin and just eject it into space, where anything could happen to it - it could be a hazard, the body could fall out etc. Wouldn't it make more sense, given the number of casualties they were having, to have some sort of cremation service available?
    • It's tradition. A sailor's funeral IN SPACE!
    • Perhaps they fired it at a sun?
      • It's a lot harder than it looks to Hurl It Into the Sun. To the point at hand: there's a lot of empty space in space, despite what the fleet scenes suggest. The odds of something ever coming into contact with the coffin are minute. The odds of finding out about it are even more improbable.
      • It's not too hard to calculate where that coffin would go. It's probable that the coffin's trajectory would take it into a planet's atmosphere where it would burn up or out into extrasolar space where it would hardly be a bother to anyone.
  • Would using a robot or some type of combined arms to fight the bugs have killed this movie?
    • Probably, but then so would using the fighting suits from the book.
    • Besides, just look at the robots from the Star Wars prequels and how useful they were.
  • Was anyone else annoyed with how rushed the first film? I imagine Rico would have recorded his message to Carmen on his first night at camp. So, allow about a week or two for his message to get to Carmen. How is Carmen already qualified to fly a "half a million tons of starship" (God, I hate that line)? Did they use the Psychlo learning machine to train their pilots? Also, Zander signed up the day before her. How is HE already a flight instructor?
    • Carmen alters the spaceship's course after only three weeks of traineeship, which leads to a collision with the asteroid, leaving the ship damaged. The captain says "thanks to Carmen" "lives have been saved" (there isn't any more damage). Praise for a beginner's mistake with dire consequences after being on board only for three weeks???
      • A collision that took out the communications tower, preventing the ship from sending a warning back to Earth, thus resulting in the deaths of 8 million people. Nice job breaking it, Carmen.
      • Carman had no way of knowing the asteroid would be there. And considering that they didn't notice it till it was right on top of them and no one else saw it till it struck Earth they probably wouldn't have noticed it if they'd continued on their first course.
  • If the bugs have no FTL capability, how are they able to attack Earth in the first place? It would've taken them hundreds of years to hurl an asteroid from a remote star system.
    • In the book, the Bugs had giant biological transport ships; I play the RPG, which borrows from the movie, the book, and the show. Also, it's never proven that the Bugs sent the asteroid. It could have been a Gulf of Tonkin attack, so the government would have a reason to declare war against an enemy that wasn't a threat at all.
    • The huge biological ships appear in the show. The asteroid was just fired with momentum, however. Either that or the conspiracy theory.
    • Correction: The book NEVER mentions whether or not Bug technology is biologically based. The book DOES, however, mention that the Bugs are technologically advanced enough to build spaceships and outfit all of their warriors with beam weaponry.
    • The bugs do have some kind of FTL ability becasue they are able to colonise other planets and they hit a ship moving at warp speed with their plasma in the third film.
    • It's been argued (for the movie), precisely for this FTL reason, that the meteorite was a deliberate inside job to further the Terrans need/want for war.
    • Alternate answer: Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale.
  • What was the point (besides Rule of Drama) in the arbitrary delay in firing the Rodger Young's emergency thrusters when approaching the asteroid? It seems like it should have been just effective firing them immediately (unless there's some technical reason I'm unaware of), it's especially bothersome when the delay caused the loss of the ship's communications, thus leading to the Buenos Aires disaster in the first place.
    • Because Carmen is a show-off and Xander is an idiot.
  • Is there a Trope that describes the piece of propaganda that showed a murderer being caught, tried, convicted, and executed, in, what was most likely, a span of 8 hours? Seriously, I get that the future is authoritarian, but that some uber-efficient justice.
  • Lieutenant Rasczak.
    First off, he's missing his hand, and the prosthetic hand he has seems rather clumsy. Unless the wars purpose is to kill as many humans as possible on the battlefield, there is NO way, in any army, that he would be assigned a front line combat command with a missing hand-sorry. If he volunteered, he might be accepted for a support role on Earth, but that's about it.
    Secondly, he does not seem to be very good at his job. On the walk to the outpost, he orders his comm nco to higher ground, yet does not think to assign a section of troopers to cover him. Made worse, just moments earlier, he spies what could be enemy movement above him, but sends a single man up to high ground alone anyway. Then to top it all off, proceeds to 'mercy' (i.e. execute really) kill him when grabbed by a flying bug. If Rasczak is such a good shot, even with his missing hand, why does he not attempt to kill the bugs with his superior marksmanship, but instead finds if more expedient to kill his own man. How would soldiers feel if they knew there officer would is just as likely to kill them if they get into trouble than try to save them? Myself, I'd rather be badly injured, but alive, rather than simply shot out of hand with no attempt by my fellows to save me. Radscak is lucky his own troops are as dumb as he is, in any other army, he'd have to sleep with a loaded handgun in his bedroll. Nor is any attempt made to recover his body, dog tags, anything, he's just left where he was. Later, at the outpost, he's shown as being fully prepared to execute a hysterical senior staff officer on the spot, with witnesses no less, and no authorization whatsoever to do so. I'm pretty sure Lieutenants executing generals is frowned upon in most militaries. How he commands such loyalty amoung his troops is a real headscratcher given his total lack of concern for there lives and his enthusiasm for summary execution.
    • He's a good enough shot that his hand must be a fairly decent model, and you'll notice that artificial limbs are a common sight in the military. They have very little regard for human life. As for his behavior, again, the military has little regard for human life. He gets the job done, which is presumably why he has his post. The specific shootings mentioned do have some extenuating circumstances. The flier bug dragged that dude way up the cliff and had torn him up pretty bad. That guy was a goner. No one ever bothers to grab tags; if you don't come back, you're dead. They don't need his tags to report him as such. Rico had the good sense to stop him the second time. It's clear at that point that Radscak is just pragmatic to the point of stupidity.
  • No one ever gets briefed in the Federation. No really. Captain Deladier(sp?) seems to have received some very cursory, and inaccurate briefs about the invasion of Klendathu. However, she did not seem to feel it necessary to pass any of that information along to you know, her bridge crew. Presumably this is case throughout the entire fleet as well. Carmen seems to have no idea what they should be expecting. Rico's unit officer also seems to not have been briefed either, provided with maps, or indeed, any sort of objectives or battle plan or the role of him and his troops in it, besides hit the ramp screaming and fire at anything with more than 2 legs. The only briefing the troops get is on the way down. Which is rather funny thing to say, given the feds willingness to execute there own on the spot for the slightest of reasons. As an aside, if Carmen is such a hot pilot, why could she not evade the rather slow moving uhhh.. plasma bolts. Even if the purpose of not briefing the fleet the bugs had ship killing capability was to intentionally cause the destruction of a few of its own ships, you would think she would be good enough to avoid a hit.
    • Starships are big, slow, and the space they were in had them parked way too close together. Also, the bugs were just spamming tons of plasma. That Carmen got her ship out with a scrape the first time is a testament to her skill, not a mark against it.
  • Are the star ships piloted only by eye or something because it seems like there should have been warning of an asteroid on a collision course with the ship before the pilots could see it themselves.
    • That's Carmen's fault. She is demonstrably reckless. She replotted the course. The ship likely detected the asteroid before that, but there was no chance of a collision. After she did, it was right there.