Robocop, Starship Troopers, Road House… it is very likely that such films are never referred to as “deadpan satire” when they should. Some of the most prominent satirical movies of the last five decades are not the kind of movies fans view as an intellectual pieces of content. Instead, the audiences view them as stupid enough to get even called a parody. Many of these films are couched in the language of tentpole productions to communicate well with the masses.
With that being said, these are the 5 out of many movies fans thought were stupid but had some brilliant satires –
Starship Troopers was perhaps one of the most misunderstood movies of the 20th century. When the film was released, it was referred to as a basic sci-fi film that is foolish with a lot of bare breasts. Many audience and critics missed the film’s reference to Nazi Germany inspired by the state-run media. Starship Troopers offered a view to the audience about how easily the government uses the masses in fascism.
Paul Verhoeven is considered as a man who is obsessed with the base-level violence in the cinematic community. With that being said, one of the most obvious instances of satirical riffing was seen in RoboCop that held a mirror to catch the garbage sitcoms of the early 90s and late 80s. RoboCop offered an insightful satire around the controls and capabilities of the collaboration between the government and the corporations. There was something ironical about Verhoeven’s habit of spending money to criticize corporate America.
Demolition Man never had any reputation in the 21st century. While the film was advertised as a throwdown between Wesley Snipes and Sylvester Stallone, critics discovered some bits and pieces of satire in the reel of masculine bravado. Some of the critics even claimed that the social satire got almost unnoticed due to careless casting and excessive explosions. With that said, it is quite safe to echo now that Demolition Man had the perfect casting with a genius satire. While Snipes played the antagonist, casting Stallone was an incisive commentary on America’s taste for stupidity, violence, and perversion. Precisely, Demolition Man was far from the Old West chaos rules and the simple American masculinity.
Last Action Hero
By 1993, Schwarzenegger was leading the Hollywood action commodity. Thus, entering Last Action Hero took the tropes of some of his biggest hits at that time and subverted them entirely. While the critics saw Last Action Hero as a stupid move, it was the real reason why people loved the action genre. Moreover, it was the only film of the 90s that made the audience wonder whether or not consciousness extends after dressing like Schwarzenegger’s Helmet.
For everyone who thought that Fast Five was a joke for the franchise, the scene where Diesel and Johnson had their bromance was quite homoerotic and absurd. Perhaps that is why the men in Fast Five were more voluptuous than the women.