In a violent, near-apocalyptic Detroit, evil corporation Omni Consumer Products wins a contract from the city government to privatize the police force. To test their crime-eradicating cyborgs, the company leads street cop Alex Murphy into an armed confrontation with crime lord Boddicker so they can use his body to support their untested RoboCop prototype. But when RoboCop learns of the company's nefarious plans, he turns on his masters.
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Ahhh, 1987, what a year for cinema. Not the least of which is Paul Verhoeven's incredible feat of practical effects engineering: _RoboCop_. This is one of those older movies where I can totally confirm for you, my love for it is in no way rooted in nostalgia. I didn't watch _RoboCop_ for the first time until 2013, when I was starting up my third decade of life. It's a phenomenal example of the period, but its also a great movie on its own. _Final rating:★★★★ - Very strong appeal. A personal favourite._
They'll fix you. They fix everything. On his first day out on the streets of Detroit, Officer Murphy is brutally killed by known thug leader, Clarence Boddicker. Scientists at OCP are able to use what remains of Murphy's body and build a new heavily armed cyborg police officer, one that could rid the streets of crime forever. Paul Verhoeven has been called many things in his career, bonkers, challenging and visionary, here with his first perceived block buster American feature, he showcases all of those things. Robocop on the page (and with its title) looked like your average run of the mill sci-fi shoot them up, with its basic premise not exactly oozing originality either. But Verhoeven had screenwriter's Edward Neumeier & Michael Miner in his corner, and they came up with a superior script to fully realise his vision. That Robocop is a satirical critique of totalitarianism and corporate corruption is now a given. Yet it wasn't at first evident to the summer block buster crowd, but Robocop has stood up well to critical re-examinations and the depth digging that so many have afforded it. So with the script he wanted in place, Verhoeven utilised his memories from childhood, where his Netherlands home was taken over by a stomping German army, and added in the destruction factor, with no amount of technical expertise as well. Verhoeven paints an unhinged portrait of this Detroit (actual location shoot was parts of Texas), with skew whiff angles and bizarre twists lining the picture, the special effects even today looking tremendous. Robocop is extremely violent, especially in the directors cut that's now widely available, but even during the most wincing scenes, it stays brisk and sparky, and on his side is that his characters are as inhuman as the title protagonist is!. Thus the fusion of berserker sci-fi and human realism sits easy with the viewer, with the result serving notice to what a fine director Verhoeven can be. Peter Weller dons the Robo suit (enduring agony for weeks on end apparently) and does what is required, and Nancy Allen kicks buttocks as Murphy's partner, Anne Lewis. But it's with the unsavoury characters that Robocop gains its acting kudos. Ronny Cox, Miguel Ferrer and a wickedly vile Kurtwood Smith dominate proceedings, helped immeasurably by the nature of the script. Verhoeven is thought to be a hard character on set, demanding much from all involved, even driving the normally amiable Weller to thoughts of violence against his director. But few, if any of those involved in Robocop can now say the final result wasn't worth it, because between them they made a genre classic. 9/10
Seen this several times over the years and still holds up well, story and satire wise, though certainly some of the effects were dated (in particular the death of one character falling out a window). Other than that, an entertaining and bloody 1980s action-thriller, where the sequels and a remake, and certainly the third entry, could not touch. Would like to think the proposed RoboCop Returns will succeed where other failed, but don't hold out much hope. **4.25/5**