RoboCop (1987)

RoboCop (1987)
  • Time: 102 min
  • Genre: Action | Crime | Sci-Fi
  • Director: Paul Verhoeven
  • Cast: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Ronny Cox


Detroit – in the future – is crime-ridden and run by a massive company. The company has developed a huge crime-fighting robot, which unfortunately develops a rather dangerous glitch. The company sees a way to get back in favor with the public when policeman Alex Murphy is killed by a street gang. Murphy’s body is reconstructed within a steel shell and called RoboCop. RoboCop is very successful against criminals and becomes a target of supervillian Boddicker.

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  • At the time this movie came out, RoboCop addressed a lot of issues that were occurring at the time. The plot was actually your regular cop drama but with science fiction twist inserted right in the middle. Writers Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner have made a film that not only makes us wish RoboCop was a real figure but also reveals the power struggle between the good-willed and corrupt individuals in and out of normal society. Then there’s also director Paul Verhoeven who tops the whole project with his signature of blood, guts and more blood.

    As the well-known story goes, RoboCop was once a humble human being. His name was Alex Murphy, both portrayed by actor Peter Weller. And he does not become RoboCop until he is brutally murdered while trying to arrest a few gang thugs. Once Murphy is reborn as the ultimate killing machine, he then sets out to do what he was programmed to do. Weller gives a stellar performance as the cyborg that he is. The movement of RoboCop is very much applaudable. It gives the illusion that he’s scanning, analyzing, and calculating his options for each situation that he’s in. Don’t you wish you could do that?

    Playing the thugs’ leader is Clarence Boddicker, acted by Kurtwood Smith. Smith is so convincing with his character, that it almost seemed like he was having fun being Boddicker all the time! It’s ironic because who would want to know him? Boddicker has no soft spots anywhere, for anyone. And there’s a difference because he’s not a psychotic killer; he’s heartless. He’s a five year old child who has a “blow up things” mindset in a forty year old man’s body. He doesn’t care what collateral damage he makes either as long as it satisfies him. Even weirder is the fact that some may find Smith’s character more appealing that Weller’s!

    Interestingly enough, RoboCop is able regain a bit of his humanity when he ends up running into one of Boddicker’s pals. It’s from there he starts to become conscious of who he was, what he had, and what he is now. And although RoboCop is not a big talker at first, he does have his moments of comedy and sadness, which will make the audience like his character a little more every time he’s on screen. It was thoughtful of the writers to give RoboCop a part of his old life back, because otherwise there wouldn’t be much for the audience to be happy about. Yes so he’s now much more powerful than he was as a human, but what’s it like now to be him? Thankfully, that question is answered and it’s almost tear jerking at times.

    Note that I’ve only gone over the main characters. Now there’s the topic of costume design and make-up effects. These two groups really had something going here. The idea of what RoboCop should look like is enthralling. What baffles me to this day is how they got it to look like the face of Peter Weller was stapled onto the front of a robotic head. These people literally had to know what they were getting themselves into when they signed onto this project. How to get a human being to look like that requires a lot of creativity.

    The action is good too. And by action, I define it as the amount of carnage. Whenever Paul Verhoeven makes a film, blood is a requirement and this film delivers it by the pint. It’s not a gore festival but it is on the bloodbath scale. The music, composed and conducted by Basil Poledouris is a valuable element to the film as well. The movie has its own theme and it has light brushes sci-fi tunes in it too. It’s a film that is hard not to enjoy.

    Noted as one the best science fiction films ever made, this film was a star-making role for Peter Weller. The violent scenes fit the tone perfectly as do the dramatic moments between them.

    Points Earned –> 10:10

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