I like Verhoeven. So that helps. But I had never seen this movie before becuase I assumed it was a big dumb "perfect teens in space fighting stuff" movie. But it isn't. It's a pure propaganda piece on the insanity of fascism. While also being a silly, entertaining action flick. Which is why Verhoeven is so good. He can make a movie for the "ah cool! shit explodes!" crowd while SIMULTANEOUSLY talking about deeper socio/political issues.
The Fourth Man is a movie about a mysterious chick who may or may not be a man eater, and a treatise on the psycho/sexual condition, and a movie about faith, and a movie about gender roles, and a movie about the nature of trust, etc. And it's also Verhoven's "fuck you" to people who claimed his movies didn't say enough, weren't arty enough, weren't symbolic enough.
Total Recall is a big dumb action flick about Mars. It is also about a society that's so at its wits end with numbness that it's perfectly acceptable to pay people to implant memories, make you a different person, change who you are on a basic level (going through all the hallmarks of psychosis)... just for a lark.
Robocop is a movie about a guy who is killed and torn apart but made into a cybernetic crime fighting machine. It's also about the cheapness of humanity. It's also about how you will always serve a purpose if you have something that can be marketted. It's about our drive toward hyper-technological advances at the expense of anything human.
See, it almost sounds like I'm *joking*. And who knows, I'm probably full of shit. But I *like* what I've seen in them enough to decide that Verhoeven has been pulling the wool over a lot of eyes for the past 20 years or so and no one has really noticed.
Haven't seen Showgirls. Maybe there's something in *that* one too.