Paul Verhoeven was almost unknown in Hollywood prior to the release of RoboCop in 1987. But after this ultra-violent yet strangely subversive and satirical sci-fi picture became a huge hit his reputation for extravagant and excessive, yet superbly well-crafted filmmaking was assured. Controversial as ever, Verhoeven saw the blue-collar cop (Peter Weller) who is transformed into an invincible cyborg as "an American Jesus with a gun", and so the film dabbles with death and resurrection imagery as well as mercilessly satirising Reagan-era America. No targets escape Verhoeven's unflinching camera eye, from yuppie excess and corporate backstabbing to rampant consumerism and vacuous media personalities. As with his later sci-fi satire Starship Troopers the extremely bloody violence resolutely remains on the same level as a Tom and Jerry cartoon.
The inevitable sequel, competently directed by Irvin Kershner, thankfully continues to mine the dark vein of anti-consumerist satire while being reflexively aware that it is itself a shining example of that which it is lampooning. Sadly the third instalment in the series, now without Peter Weller in the title role, is exactly the kind of dumbed-down production-line flick that the corporate suits of OCP might have dreamed up at a marketing meeting. Its only virtue is a decent music score from regular Verhoeven collaborator Basil Poledouris, whose splendid march theme returned from the original score.
Your move creep..............