As the years go on, more and more people find out the surprise in The Empire Strikes Back -- one of cinema's biggest surprises -- not from the original movie, but rather from comedies like Spaceballs, Robot Chicken, or YouTube videos. Fortunately, I didn't feel a similar sense of being ripped off from seeing Starship Troopers for the first time while it was being endlessly mocked by the Rifftrax folks. This is a testament to their comedic skill -- and the many weaknesses of the original movies.

Rifftrax: Starship Troopers was the latest live movie theater showing of Rifftrax, the talking-during-the-movie comedy of Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett. (It's also the first Rifftrax project funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign.) The three mercilessly attack the almost-campy space action/melodrama that is Starship Troopers. Some jokes come from the movie's recurring elements (such as which drags more: the innumerable bug battles or the slow shots of model spaceships gliding through space), some from the cast (from Denise Richards' vapidity to Neil Patrick Harris being the only big successful member of the cast). The three hosts even find a... unique way to deal with the two big moments of nudity from Starship Troopers.
Rifftrax: Starship Troopers is a lot of fun. While there are several times when the explosions and gunfire of the original drown out the jokes, Nelson, Murphy and Corbett keep the funny flying fast and furious. It would have been hard to take Starship Troopers seriously before -- but at least it provided some good fodder for comedy! Overall grade: A- Reviewed by James Lynch

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