Action Movie Fanatix Review: Robocop


Part Man, Part Machine, All Cop.

Starring: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Kurtwood Smith, Dan O’Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Miguel Ferrer

Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

1987  |  103 Minutes  |  Rated R

“Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.” – Robocop

The original Robocop is considered to be one of the best action films of the 1980s.  I was young when I last saw it and my only real memory of Robocop was the action figure I had as a kid (awesome!) and the autographed Robocop picture I got from a auto show as a kid (doubly awesome!).  As awesome (and doubly awesome) as those two memories are I knew I had to watch Robocop again.

Unlike some movies set in the “not too distant future” Robocop has held up quite well.  It can still feel like it is in the future and not the 1980s view of what the future might look like.  The special effects show their age some, especially on the ED-209.  The use of stop motion on the ED-209 shows its age but still ends up looking better than a lot of the CG that is seen in a lot of movie today (especially anything seen on SyFy).

The story is still viable as well.  A private company, Omni Consumer Products (OCP), is hired to run the Detroit Police Department.  Police officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) transfers to Detroit and is partnered with Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen).  On their first patrol Murphy is gunned down by Detroit’s #1 crime boss, Clarence Boddiker (Kurtwood Smith), and his gang.  Murphy is turned into Robocop by OCP and is unleashed on the criminals of Detroit.

Peter Weller does well as Robocop.  His movements are just iconic.  I had a work buddy who used to walk around the office just like Robocop, gun spin and all.  It cracked me up everytime he did it.  Kurtwood Smith plays a mean as hell Detroit gang leader but at first it is a little weird to see Red Forman in this roll.

I am not as against digital blood as some but it certainly doesn’t compare to the practical effects used in movies like Robocop.  Holes are blown in heads.  Limbs are shot off and it all looks perfectly bloody and real.  In an era of PG-13 action movies, it is now rare to get a film experience like Robocop.

If you have never seen Robocop or haven’t seen it in a few years you owe it to yourself to give it another viewing.  Its fun, its funny.  The action is awesome and it has some heart behind it too.  After my most recent viewing of Robocop I can’t help but agree that it belongs atop the action movie heap with such greats as Rambo, Die Hard and Predator.