Sure cop movies are cool but... you know what else is cool?
Freakin' robots that's what.
Good thing the 80's knew that, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to enjoy Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop, a film with a premise so awesome it must have taken about a minute to greenlight. Peter Weller, of Buckaroo Banzai "fame", is Murphy, the Detroit cop who gets his ass handed to him in a particularly unfriendly gun-fight. What's left of him is soon turned into a badass robotic crimefighter with an apt for genius one-liners and incredible shooting accuracy. Sadly, his hardware is owned by corrupt company OCP which makes ridding the city of all its scum a bit of a challenge.
The "scum" in question includes big cheese Dick Jones (the ever intimidating Ronny Cox), the dad from That 70's Show and... Leland Palmer?
Twin Peaks reference. It's funny, go watch the show.
So yes, it turns out that having the police owned by a big-ass, heartless corporation sucks. Jones' OCP plan being to build the new Detroit with defective giant robots that can't even go down the stairs with all crime handed over to the city's biggest nutjob. The police department being rather powerless against OCP's domination, new manbot hybrid RoboCop turns out to not only be Detroit's saviour but the middle man (or machine-man) and ultimately the cops' saviour also. Great story, great ideas: like Verhoeven's other two pitch-perfect sci-fi efforts Total Recall and Starship Troopers, RoboCop is not only a terrific futuristic action movie but also a clever social satire.
Who said that robot movies had to be brainless affairs?
Besides Michael Bay.
Despite being cool and completely entertaining, RoboCop is not without a sense of humour. For one thing there's those fake TV ads which only get better and wackier as the movie goes, then there's ED-209: best/worst...best robot ever. I mean, it's cool-looking and all but boy is it a fail, a perfect incarnation of OCP's mindless greed. I should mention, by the way, that RoboCop eats baby food which looks suspiciously like faeces. Great stuff.
A big fan as a kid, I'm happy to report that RoboCop is still a hell of a lot of fun and deserves another look even if the memories of RoboCop 3 still haunt your dreams.
Come on now, it really wasn't THAT bad...
Sequels-aside, this first instalment is certainly one to check out so check it out!
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