Flash Stabone’s review published on Letterboxd:
Paul Verhoeven's best film-not my favorite but I'll admit it's his best. This has his best camerawork out of all his films-a lot of cool one shots in the Precinct-Robo's point of view-some of his angles in this film are incredible-best shot of the film belongs to the image of Robo crawling away from the SWAT team with all of them unloading on him.
The script is flawless-the satire is wonderful-the foulness of the setting is great-Murphy is only on screen for maybe 5 to 10 minutes but within that time the script gives us enough to relate to him-understand that he's a decent person risking his life to protect the innocent of the city. The bad guys are written perfectly-I don't doubt for a second that this bunch has worked together for some time-the corporate characters are also written very well-the backstabbing-the lifestyle-it's perfect.
The cinematography is great-Jost Vacano did almost all of Verhoeven's films-he also did Das Boot and Schwarzenegger's directing effort for Tales From The Crypt-The Switch (awesome episode). Very gritty-love the bright lights when in the office of OCP and again that scene with Robo escaping in the parking lot-just awesome.
The cast is great all around-Peter Weller does a fine job playing a robot.
Nancy Allen was alright-the character could have been more but she does come across as that tough as nails cop. But they also squeeze in her admiration for Murphy which I liked-it's the only reason she goes out of her way to help him later in the film-they're partners.
Ronny Cox-love him in everything he's in. He is such a bastard in this. His reaction to the office shooting is hilarious-his confrontation with Miguel Ferrer in the executive lounge is great-his video messages are great-love the Cox!
Speaking of Miguel Ferrer-he is amazing in this-he's the young Cox-he just doesn't know it yet-young exec desiring to get ahead and when he sees the opportunity to step on the throat of his competitor he does it. The grenade scene is wonderful.
Kurtwood Smith-best I have ever seen him-one of the best bad guys in my mind-he's ruthless-screams danger-just his face alone is scary-he has some great dialogue in this.
Overall this is a classic Sci-Fi film that is very high on my All Time List-not only does it delivery when it comes to the genre-it twists the genre into something new-something we hadn't seen before-it's like this takes place in another Universe-but it also has the heart element-it's a screwed up story-a cyborg that can remember fractions of it's human past-when Robo visits the home of Murphy and is overloaded with emotion and all he can do is punch the TV-like the rest of the film....it's perfect!