Films directed by
Paul Verhoeven

Starship Troopers


This second teaming of writer Ed Neumeier and director Paul Verhoeven is not close to being the equal of their first effort, RoboCop. The attempts at social commentary are just as ham handed and the 1997 film lacks the humor and human dimension of the first. Fans of the original Robert A. Heinlein novel are also advised to steer well clear, as any resemblance between the source material and the final product is strictly accidental beyond the title and the names of a few characters. All this would be forgivable if it produced a good movie. Sadly, forgiveness is impossible in this case.

The film does offer some nifty special effects and plenty of grue for fans of the old ultra-violence, but other elements like story logic and characters that matter to us are missing in action. Continue reading



I’ll buy that for a dollar!

Although clearly intended as insightful social commentary on the Reagan era, Paul Verhoeven’s first American film works better as straight action with a dose of comedy and a surprising helping of existential turmoil for its titular character. The attempts at social satire were sophomoric even in 1987 but fortunately the director didn’t seem to take that element too seriously, focusing instead on Robocop (Peter Weller) and his struggle to reclaim his submerged humanity.

The film takes place in one of those fantasy futures where capitalism is just as evil as liberals imagine it to be. Continue reading