When you get right down to it, the sadistic sociopath (indirectly) responsible for the creation of the metal-headed hero in Paul Verhoeven’s over-the-top sci-fi satire is little more than a spoiled kid playing with some shiny new toys. Unfortunately, those “toys” are capable of punching holes through pickup trucks, and that “kid” makes Jason Voorhees look like Mickey Mouse.
For Clarence, a drug dealer on the payroll of a corrupt corporate executive, murder is business–but he enjoys his work a little too much. Instead of simply gunning down his employer’s rival, for example, he shoots out his kneecaps and places a live grenade just out of his reach. And, as the needlessly cruel torture of Officer Murphy clearly demonstrates, that’s Boddicker showing mercy. "Give the man a hand!“ he quips, removing the helpless policeman’s right hand at the wrist with a point-blank shotgun blast. Then, after his lackeys finish mutilating the poor cop–husband, father, soon-to-be-cyborg–with another barrage of gunfire, Clarence puts a bullet in his head and leaves him for dead ("Fun’s over,” he declares, like a father dragging his screaming child away from the jungle gym).
Even the most ardent opponent of capital punishment has to admit that this guy deserves a knife through the jugular.
[Originally written August 9, 2012.]