Classic Film Review: Robocop (1987)

So I just finished rewatching Paul Verhoven’s seminal action classic Robocop…

Robocop tells the story of Alex Murphy, a rookie cop who recently transferred to the south precinct of Detroit’s private police force, owned and ran by Omni Consumer Products (OCP). After being eviscerated by gangster Clarence Botiker and his gang, Murphy is left for dead. But, OCP takes his body and rebuilds him as the crime fighting cyborg Robocop. After discovering his past, and Botiker’s connection to OCP, Robocop must not only find his humanity again, he must stop OCP from executing their dastardly plans.

An absolute classic for a reason. An exciting and funny satire about American consumerism and the nature of humanity.

Great script, great characters and performances (Peter Weller brought so much humanity and power to Robocop, and Kurtwood Smith was absolutely slimy as Botiker), interesting cinematography and editing, good special effects, amazing gore effects and makeup, intelligent discussion of ideas, fantastic score (the main theme is just so iconic), etc.

This movie is just so god damn good. The writing is tight, and pays off everything it sets up. The characters have such distinct personalities, especially Robocop, who has this powerful arc about identity and humanity and discovering who you are. Further the action scenes are all so intelligent. Nothing is just there for the sake of it, it is all in service to the story and it adds so much more weight.

However, I did have one little gripe with the film, and that’s the reveal of Robocop. They show him a little too much in the beginning, and it took away what could have been this powerful reveal. If they minimized how much we saw him, and we didn’t fully see him until he grabbed the keys to the car, that would have hit hard.

Overall, this film is absolutely badass. The satire is smart, the action is intense, and it is impeccable in its technical elements, minor gripe aside. If you haven’t seen this film yet, you gotta see it. Highly recommended.

9.5 out of 10

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