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Robocop

AKA:
 
 


Apparently the film’s title scared off all the American directors, who didn’t want to be associated with a film with such an absurd title. The US producers then decided to look in Europe for a director and contacted Paul Verhoeven, who also thought that the film was ”silly”. Yet his wife read the script and thought that it had a comic, dark cynical side to it, which her husband hadn’t noticed. She recommended that he read it again, he did and Robocop became his first US film.



More Trivia from Robocop
Set in the bright, desolate, empty urban wastelands of Detroit in the futuristic 1990’s, Robocop’s atmosphere is similar to Ridley Scott’s "Blade Runner", even though his majestic Sci-Fi film was constantly dark and wet, the same futuristic eerie emptiness permeates.

The film begins with a news broadcast, which shows that the city and indeed society has become a violent, anarchistic and pitiless place. Security for the city has been privatised, with the police now taking their orders from the heartless corporate "Omni Consumer Products" (OCP) Organisation.

Following the murder of a policeman, the OCP spokesman Dick Jones (Cox) comments on the 6 o’clock news, "That every policeman understands what comes with the terrority … if you can’t stand the heat then GET OUT of the kitchen!". This is his particularly ‘compassionate’ response!

Hence life down on the front line isn’t too good and the police are threatening to strike, the criminals are looting and the city is in disarray.



Dick Jones, vice president of OCP, a organization that reminds one of the "SkyNet Corporation" (The Terminator), with their investment in military hardware, space technology & enforcement robots, believes that he has found the answer to Detroit’s crime problem, with rocket launching, multi armed ED-209.

At it’s unveiling the tooled up droid short circuits and unloads about 5000 rounds into the body of one of Dick’s unfortunate fellow colleges. Unperturbed, Dick’s response to his chairman "The Old Man" (O’Herlihy) is that "it’s probably just a glitch"!

Young executive Bob Morton seizes the opportunity and informs the Old Man that he has been working on a technology which can combine the human nervous system with robotic technology to create the ultimate cop.

Down on the front line, it is evident that society in the future, has become genderless, with police men & women openly showering together at the station, with zero sexual undertones… heck, Officer Murphy even lets his female partner Lewis (Allen) drive!

The two officers chase a gang to a deserted industrial estate, where without any back up they pursue the gangsters into an empty warehouse. Officer Murphy is cornered by the risibly evil cackling drug gang and literally shot to pieces, in the most brutal fashion… "Need a hand!" (check out the uncut DVD for this horrifying scene in all it’s blood splattering glory).

The slaying of the officer gives Morton his framework in which to apply his OCP technology, as Murphy’s basic brain functions are still in ‘working order.’ His memory is supposedly blanked and the ‘dead’ Officer Murphy is transformed into Robocop.

Robocop is soon making his mark, taking on the crooks. An armed robber is thrown and bounced around a liquor store that he was robbing, two hapless rapists feel the force and then Robocop hilariously breaks up a hostage situation at the local town hall.

He is the hero of crime fighting, but is soon haunted by flashbacks… do androids dream of electric sheep? Not Robocop, he recalls fragments of his murder, which in turn send him on a mission to find out who he was, in doing so he uncovers corruption at the very heart of OCP, which will lead him to confrontation with his makers...

Verdict?

Although Robocop undoubtedly draws influence from films like Blade Runner, Terminator, Predator & Frankenstein it is definitely a quite unique film in it’s own right. Its blend of humor, violence and cynical social comment on US manufacturing policy, consumerism and capitalism, means the film works on a variety of levels, appealing to a wide spectrum of film fans.

Notice any mistakes? Review

Strengths: Like Die Hard, Robocop is a backlash against corporatism movie, with the everyday man hitting back against ‘men in suits’.

Weaknesses? Sensitive cyborg with identity crises.

Our rating: 9 out of 10


Review Written by Stuart Fitzgerald:  Contact  |  More Reviews by Stuart Fitzgerald
Robocop