The good stuff
Worthy but flawed
Showy and kitschy showbiz drama that has a little extra because of Verhoeven's over-the-top direction, but fails to excite beyond that. The acting is pretty bland, the story is boring and the film could've been 30 minutes shorter. It's not a terrible film, certainly not as bad as its reputation, but it's not very noteworthy either.
I'm pretty sure I'd seen this film before as a kid, but I didn't remember much of it, apart from the scenes that have become part of our cultural memory. It's a Verhoeven though, so I figured it would be nice to give this one another go and see if it was still worth something. The result was a little disappointing I'm afraid.
There's quite a bit of nudity and the murders are pretty direct (for a Hollywood film), but that's about it really. The film itself is a very basic cop thriller, with a rather plain "did she or didn't she" plot that Verhoeven drags out until the very end. I found it hard to care about the final twist, which is never a good sign.
Performances are rather weak (Douglas in particular is prone to some serious overacting) and the film has that rather cheap 90s cop thriller look. The soundtrack isn't very helpful either. The pacing is fine though and the film never gets too slow or boring, but in the end there's not all that much appeal left for a 2 hour film.