RoboCop (1987)

robocop poster 1987 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Ahead of its time

Some so-so acting, some dated effects

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  RoboCop

Studio:  Orion Pictures

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  July 17, 1987

MPAA Rating:  R

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Give me your data

Old Detroit is a mess.  Crime is running rampant and the controlling force known as OCP (Omni Consumer Products) is planning to raze the whole city to build New Detroit.  When Dick Jones (Ronny Cox) finds his military/police program ED-209 ordered offline for the RoboCop program designed by Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer), Jones plots revenge.  The RoboCop program needs a body for the hybrid officer and the death of Alex J. Murphy (Peter Weller) gives the program its body.  Unfortunately, Murphy’s memories still exist and memories of his murders are resurfacing…now, RoboCop must uncover OCP’s ties to crimes and he may discover his own past in the process.

Directed by Paul Verhoeven, RoboCop (also written as Robocop) was a sci-fi action thriller.  The movie received surprisingly good reviews from critics and made a strong showing at the box office.  The movie had to fight for an R-Rating when it received an X-Rating over numerous submissions (the uncut is available on DVD & Blu-Ray).  The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound and Best Film Editing with a special achievement for Sound Effect Editing.  The Criterion Collection released a remastered version of the film (Criterion #23).

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I’d buy that for a dollar!

I saw RoboCop when it was new to video (making me pretty young)…which probably wasn’t the best idea since it still is one of more violent films out there.  The movie was edgy and way ahead of its time.  The movie has held up, but ironically, a lot of stuff that was made fun of in the film has come to pass.

The concept for RoboCop came from a few directions.  The character was conceived from Blade Runner (man hunting robots) and a combination of Marvel Comics’ alien humanoid robot hunter Rom and Judge Dredd.  The script of the movie smartly wove this character into a cop drama but also included lots of parodies of things like the crumbling news media, urban decay, and the commercializing of public services…most of which has happened since the film’s release in 1987.  It holds two levels of irony now in that it was inventive, and it was true.

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I’ve got ED…ED209 that is

The cast went through a number of changes before the movie was to be made.  Tom Berenger, Michael Ironside, and Rutger Hauer were considered to star as RoboCop but Peter Weller.  RoboCop’s partner is played by ’70s and ’80s star Nancy Allen who always was acting challenged.  The corporate side of the film is played by Miguel Ferrer as the young upstart behind the RoboCop program who does pull off yuppie (especially in his death scene) and the old-school side is Ronny Cox who often played similar heavies (because once again, he did it well).  There are a number of people who went on to better things in the gang who kills including Kurtwood Smith, Ray Wise, and Paul McCrane.

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Stumble…don’t run to get RoboCop!

RoboCop at the time was pretty high tech, but it hasn’t aged as well there.  The RoboCop suit still seems somewhat plausible (he actually couldn’t get in or out of cars but he doesn’t have a lot of movement.  He is still better than the stop motion ED-209 who has no means to go down stairs?  Seem like a design flaw.  The basic dystopia of Old Detroit and the TV aspects do still work…I’d buy that for a dollar!

RoboCop is a smart and violent sci-fi film.  The movie hasn’t aged perfectly in spots but if you grew up with RoboCop it is fun to revisit.  The weird thing about the super-violent film is that it became a kid-marketed character with cartoons, comics, and toys.  RoboCop was followed with another really violent sequel RoboCop 2 in 1990 and a remake in 2014.

Related Links:

RoboCop (2014)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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