RoboCop

RoboCop ★★★★★

Satire with a heart. Robocop certainly has a reputation that precedes it, but one which fails to highlight its insane balancing act. It's a cartoon through and through, with action and jokes that continually one-up each other in gratuitousness (the film has an absolutely unrivaled willingness to fucking GO THERE) but all pointedly and without sacrificing the humanity underneath it all. 30 years removed from its release, most if not all of the action is played for laughs without being cheap or hacky, which makes it a consistent blast (not a bad pun, I swear). There's an impressive level of detail here all around, from the side characters to the set design, (Verhoeven can milk something as mundane as a car ramp for repeat jokes).

It might be as close to perfect genre filmmaking as can be made, which is admittedly hyperbolic, but I can't think of anything this thoroughly ridiculous and paradoxically truthful, both to the culture it is lambasting and the characters it uses to do so.

Sidenote: Peter Weller is a wonderful Frankenstein's Monster/Jesus figure. He's got this irresistible, confused deadpan that is the epitome of doing a lot with a little.