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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Robocop Review (1987)

The 80's was the epidemic of landmark movies. It was no doubt an era of heavy artillery supplied by Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. To name a few; Predator 87", First Blood 82", Aliens 86", The Terminator 84" and more would all go forward to rule the 1980's. Released in 1987, Robocop would have to bring something explosive to the table.

This futuristic sci-fi takes place in Detroit were crime rate is at its highest. The streets are crawling with Junkies, prostitutes while a global tech business, OCP (Omni Consumer products), over looks the city and controls the reign of law. It does not get more gritty than the portrayal we see at first hand.

OCP is known for its advanced technology and continuity in daily developments created and mastered to protecting the public from the scum. With not much belief in your average police department, it is when the giant company buys out the police task force in hopes to creating something stronger and less vulnerable as murderers and rapists pile the dark streets of Detroit.

It is when rogue cop Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) is blasted to death during a tense infiltration into one of Detroit's cold blooded gangs, (a gruesome scene that joined movie history) that sees Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer) of OCP perform a body transformation. With adjustments to save the general organs of Murphy's remains, the staff at OCP construct a steel shell around the dead body of Murphy resulting in a ""Robocop",a programmed walking talking killing machine assigned to protect the innocent with the ability to sustain and arrest.

While Murphy's soul is nothing short of deceased, it is when former partner and witness to the crime Lewis (Nancy Allen) discovers the man behind the metal plates resulting in Robocop's reflection of memories, which is something OCP didn't want. The action packed plot sees Bob's Robocop create a kill list behind the death of his former self. The main target is indeed, in my opinion one of the biggest dirt bags to ever hit our screens, Clarence (Kurtwood Smith). If Satan had an apprentice, it was this guy. It delights me to witness the path of revenge that Robocop follows, leading to an all out war as Clarence and his men try ridding the streets of the only thing standing in their way.

Although OCP staff and second man on the managers board Dick (Ronny Cox) represents true justice, Dick has eyes on a different future for the advanced company, a future without Robocop, which leads Robocop on an investigation that connects dots between the criminals of Detroit and the rich that overlook it.

Ah yes, the nostalgic reflection of this movie still excites me. One year before my birth, Robocop was swarming cinemas global, estimating a total of 13,000,000 in budget. Just like a plethora of 80's action, Robocop was, and still is one of the best of that era.

Its concept was highly original then, and unfortunately could not have competed with The Terminator and T2, it did succeed in terms of Sci-fi action and joined a host of movies that showed the possible gruesomeness of real-life shootings.

Scene of Death: Upon the origin of Robocop, Murphy had to make a sacrifice. Not knowing he would become a protective cyborg of Detroit, he foolishly rushed in, disturbing a group of animals, resulting in a terrifying scene. Do you remember? He had his leg, arm, and eventual head blasted with shotguns, machine guns the lot. Clarence and his affiliates were a new breed of murders and rapists, which lead to a whole new direction in my movie history. The gore was frightening and the screams of laughter toward a dead cop is more haunting.

The overall cast consisted of some well known faces of that era, if not genre of movies. In my opinion, it was just as well Peter Weller had to play out the movie in a metal suit and robotic concept as I don't think I could have stuck his cheesy acting through-out the 100 minutes or so. Although he is the hero an lead star, he is the worst actor associated with this classic... sorry. Apart from a handful of low budget movies, Weller has done the voice for Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 & Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2...random?

Ronnie Cox, as we know from Eddie Murphy's Beverly Hills Cop, was then and maybe still an accomplished actor playing numerous roles of good and bad.  Kurtwood Smith made appearances in Deep Impact, Rambo 3, Broken Arrow and many more.

Apart from its cheesy one liners, Robocop is and always will be one of my Childhood favourites. I know, it was strictly 18's (strictly), there was just no way I wasn't watching this movie. Unfortunately I can't say the same for what was to follow. I am sure the majority of fans will agree if I say that  RoboCop 2 was mediocre, although it will never, NEVER be as bad as RoboCop 3!!!  It is hardly worth referencing, but I believe the situation was played out with Peter Weller witnessing a script that read Robotic Ninjas and immediately decided to shove the pen he was given up the writers ass!

For those who don't know, a re-make is set for release in 2013, with a cast Gary Oldman, Joel Kinnaman and Samuel L. Jackson.  At this stage I struggle to see how anything can go wrong when the legendary Gary Oldman is involved. Joel Kinnaman is the star of the murderous tv series, The Killing. As for Samuel Jackson?...

Overall: 80's Sci-fi action, 80's bloodshed, 80's acting = a damn good time!


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