In this clip from Starship Troopers the most inspirational speech that Heinlein never wrote is given by a character who – in the book — never went into combat with Johnny Rico.
I saw this link in a sports blog this morning and it set me to thinking about the different reactions to films made from sf/fantasy novels.
Only a few fanwriters got really cranky after seeing Starship Troopers — it was simply too bad. People were much more critical of The Hobbit, perhaps because it hewed more closely to Tolkien. Heinlein needed no defense — the makers of Troopers kept his title and threw away the book (a line I’d credit if I could remember who I stole it from.) To have defended Heinlein would have seemed a case of protesting too much.
My favorite dissection of the movie was performed by James D. Macdonald at “Red Mike’s Reviews”, who walks through Starship Troopers like a sergeant major breaking down a failed training exercise:
Our guys stand shoulder to shoulder, firing at the mass of bugs, using a set of tactics that hasn’t worked well since Gettysburg. Actually, the guys at Gettysburg were a bit better better equipped for what they were doing, since they had artillery (a concept that has been lost, apparently) and weapons with an accurate range of over eight feet. Other lost concepts that would have proved Really Helpful here include close air support, mortars, air-dropped mines, barbed wire, fire, maneuver, cover, concealment, objectives, and useful orders. (I mean, “Kill everything that has more than two legs” is really neat, but “Go to coordinates XXYY, and set up a perimeter. Your covered arc runs from AA through CC. You’ll be linking up with Unit Name on your left and Other Unit Name on your right. Hold the position until you’re relieved by Unit Name. At that time go to YYZZ and await further orders” would have actually been helpful.) Nor, for that matter, do we have armored fighting vehicles, heavy machineguns, shoulder-launched missiles, or other stuff (a spray can of Raid?) that might have come in handy.