The unlikely Hollywood career of Dutch provocateur Paul Verhoeven remains a baffling (albeit welcome) curio; for 15 noisy years, Verhoeven enjoyed a gleefully subversive run conjuring mega-budget, envelope-pushing mayhem. His U.S. breakthrough came with this sci-fi satire, a bleakly sardonic cyberpunk riff on the life of Christ, set in a future Detroit where the local police force has been outsourced to devious mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products (OCP).
Enter ‘the future of law enforcement’, an unstoppable cyborg badass (Peter Weller) that ill-advisedly utilises the reanimated body of a cop slain in the line of duty by a gang of psychotic OCP cohorts. SFX legend Rob Bottin provides the iconic robo-suit and lays on the gory thrills, while a deadpan cast (including Wexford’s own Dan O’Herlihy) serves Ed Neumeier’s witty script pitch-perfectly. Ignore the forthcoming remake; a quarter-century later, this hard-wired action classic remains a heavy metal masterpiece. (Notes by Derek O’Connor.)
Showing as part of a Bang for your Buck: Action Movies 101 season throughout May.