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Review Robocop (1987): Thought-provoking and entertaining sci fi classic!

genre: action, crime. science fiction







You would think that after so many years and multiple viewings Robocop would lose it's edge and strength. But no that is not the case. If anything this film becomes more important every viewing since the social and political themes are more relevant than ever.

Even if you don't care about those elements the film still holds up as an action film. The action is very violent. Super gory and bloody. When Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) gets shot you get to see every detail of that event. Including his hand and arm getting shot off. One could argue that it's a little too gratuitous but I think it's an important scene since it shows how ruthless Clarence J. Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) and his henchmen are. And it demonstrates what police officers have to endure in this near future. Alex Murphy is declared dead to then be revived as Robocop. A cyborg who can fight crime 24/7. Supposedly whatever was left of Murphy is gone. Of course this is not true. Murphy's soul or essence is still present and wants to deal with the people who killed him. Robocop is more than a revenge film. Through news broadcasts and commercials we are shown examples of American capitalism gone overboard. Corporates are too powerful and greedy at the cost of people and their humanity. For some reason the people of this dystopian future think it's wise for corporates to take control of their police force completely forgetting that all they care about is making money. Police work and capitalism don't go together and should never ever go together. If you aren't convinced then Robocop will change your mind. Who would want to live in this dystopian Detroit? Crime is rampant and police officers don't get paid enough only to be discarded and used as OCP see fit.

Everything works in this film. The story. The social and political commentary. The acting. The soundtrack. And the special effects. Robocop's suit even today is incredibly iconic and impressive. But even the Ed 209 whose movements are animated with stop motion looks creepy and menacing. I can guarantee you that no amount of CGI could replicate that. The villains are ruthless and deliciously evil. The good guys are undeniably good with no grey area whatsoever. Also what seems to be an important element today is the fact that Nancy Allen is an equal to Alex Murphy / Robocop in every way. She is a cop who has a job to do and does it. I wonder why these social justice warriors keep overlooking roles like these. They are acting like Charlize Theron is one of the first women to achieve real female empowerment. It's obvious that they don't know what they are talking about.

Amd last but not least is Paul Verhoeven's direction. On the blu-ray a Q&A special was added where Paul Verhoeven and other crew members discuss Robocop. He seems to be very humble and constantly crediting others. While these others in turn are crediting him. Of course it is their collaboration that made Robocop successful however as Peter Weller and writer Edward Neumeier are stating that had Paul not been directing a lot of elements would have been cut and left out. It was Paul Verhoeven who approached Robocop as the tale of Jesus. Hence the scene I discussed earlier also having a religious and philosophical meaning.

Robocop is undeniable one of the best films ever made and definitely one of the best made by Paul Verhoeven. And to think that at first he thought the script was terrible. A must own!






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