As presented on Kino Lorber's new DVD release of the film, titled Tricked (although Verhoeven refers to it in the film as 14 1/2), viewers are offered an 89-minute feature presentation made up of both the 50-minute short film, and a brief documentary segment outlining Verhoeven's experiences making the project. The two parts complement one another but don't form a cohesive whole, so for the purposes of this review, I'll devote a little time to each one separately.
Of the two halves of the film, the documentary is arguably the most interesting, if only just because it reveals both his generosity as a filmmaker and his honesty as a person. He is very interested in soaking up the ideas of his cast and crew, noting that they reminded of him of techniques he hadn't used since his first film, Turkish Delight, and being sure to defer to the contributions of others that helped Tricked turn out in the end. He is also quite candid about the notion that he thought the film was more of a conceptual win than an actual challenge, admitting the eventual struggle he had once the film was underway and he was overwhelmed by the submissions and the sheer number of possibilities they presented.
One thing the documentary glosses over, however, is Verhoeven's decision to reconfigure the project after the wheels were already in motion. According to information online, there seemed to be a promise that Verhoeven would interact with the filmmakers behind the winning submissions, or that he would have to choose scripts wholesale, even integrate others' short films directly into the movie. Instead, he and Robert Alberdingk Thijm essentially compiled ideas into their own screenplay, integrating the users' submissions while still putting their own fingerprint on the material. Verhoeven does go into detail about the need for an ending, expressing his concern that the story will not be wrapped up by the final segment without some guidance, but the documentary does not explicitly outline any ways in which Verhoeven changed the rules.
As for Tricked itself, the movie is fairly inconsequential, but entertaining, with splashes of sexual energy that recall Verhoeven's best work. Remco (Peter Blok) is a womanizing CEO whose business is danger of going under. His partner, Wim (Jochum ten Haaf) has brokered a sale of the company behind his back, his former lover, Nadja (Sallie Harmsen), is pregnant and telling him the baby is his, and he still has his exasperated wife, Ineke (Ricky Koole) and his new girlfriend, Merel (Gaite Jansen) to deal with. With tighter editing, Tricked might build to more of a fever pitch, but the set running time means the slow weaving of alliances and interests either takes a bit too long or isn't quite complex enough for the film to really shine. Nonetheless, his cast is engaging across the board, and the experience of watching him draw the strings together in the end is wickedly satisfying.
The Video and Audio
Two interviews are next, one with Carolien Spoor (3:00) and the other with director Paul Verhoeven (6:50). Both are from film festivals, the former on the red carpet and the latter in a windy junket scenario. In the latter, Verhoeven touches on the possibility that the finished film would've incorporated submissions actually completed by other filmmakers, with different actors playing the existing roles when each 10-minute transition point occurred.
The disc rounds out with two more film festival snippets, "Tricked at the Aruba International Film Festival" (2:30) and "Tricked at the Rome Film Festival" (1:23). These are basically montages, a bit of interview mixed with some B-roll and a bit of Paul introducing the movie.