Movie One Hundred Twenty Seven
When an Old Detroit police officer is brutally gunned down by a group of thugs, he is rebuilt as RoboCop.
Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) and his partner Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen) are on patrol chasing down a group of criminals led by Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith). The gang lays an excessive amount of ammunition into Murphy and he is pronounced dead at the hospital. Omni Consumer Products sees an opportunity to take what is left of Murphy and use him as their product in an effort to turn Old Detroit into their own Delta City after their first project, ED-209, goes haywire and kills a young executive during a board meeting. Murphy, now as Robocop, sets out to bring justice to the streets of Old Detroit when he runs into one of his murderers. As his memory returns, with the help of his old partner, RoboCop vows to exact his revenge against Boddicker and OCP for taking his former life.
In a film that could easily be just another revenge flick, RoboCop is special because of its sense of humor and satire that is interspersed with the violence. Director Paul Verhoeven’s touch is apparent and RoboCop shares many similarities with another sci-fi favorite of mine, Starship Troopers. While parts of RoboCop are laughable, most of those parts are meant to be. That shouldn’t discount some of the deeper meanings in the film.
Revenge movies don’t have to be mindless to be fun and RoboCop excels when it isn’t mindless. For examples of mindless sci-fi revenge stories, see the abhorrent sequels. Actually, don’t see them. They are terrible. If for some reason you haven’t seen RoboCop, perhaps you had written it off before giving it a chance, go into it with an open mind and RoboCop may surprise you.
I give it 4 ED-209s in the boardroom out of 5 (violence warning for the video).
There are several version of RoboCop out there, make sure you get the NC-17 cut, the differences are relatively minor but it’s the way it should be seen. Also, the current (as of this writing) Blu-Ray version is atrocious, you are better off with the DVD version. The best way to view RoboCop is to track down the out of print Criterion version of the DVD. The picture and sound are impeccable and the extras are worthwhile.