Thursday, May 26, 2011

Robocop (1987)

Tagline: Part man. Part machine. All cop. The future of law enforcement.

Summary (taken from IMDb): In a dystopic & crime ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg with submerged memories haunting him. SIDENOTE: If you’ve ever seen Inspector Gadget, then you know the basic storyline of Robocop.

I was a little put off by the title – incase you didn’t notice, it’s quite lame – but I was relieved to find that the film was actually great!

Besides the fact that Detroit had an unnatural amount of crime and the Detroit Police Department was taken over by a private company, I thought the premise of the story was cutting edge, ahead of its time. The moment I knew the film would be great was when Murphy—the cop that gets turned into Robocop—gets gunned down in the steel mill. At first, Clarence Boddicker—ultra bad guy—shoots Murphy's hand off with a shotgun, but the audience only witnesses Murphy’s reaction, which I thought was very powerful.

I liked how they portrayed Officer Anne Lewis: she was strong, didn’t take any crap, and helped Murphy. Instead of Lewis depicted as the usual damsel in distress or the working woman trying, but not succeeding in a man’s world, Lewis holds her own.

I felt like the movie had a tinge of Western in it, especially because of Murphy spinning his sidearm on his fingers, a move he learned from a television show that his young son watches. I could almost hear someone saying “There’s a new sheriff in town” when Robocop (Murphy) is unleashed on crime-ridden Detroit.

The moment Robocop (Murphy) takes his helmet off is like the moment Darth Vader takes his helmet off…very intense, almost suspenseful. I have never watched a movie (besides Star Wars, of course) where I felt that nervous about what lay underneath a helmet. Robocop (Murphy) stays uncovered throughout the rest of the film, which, I thought, was quite disturbing—the make-up was unsightly.

Lastly, there is a great story-telling element of the plot coming full circle, which, as an English major, I appreciated. Murphy was gunned down in the steel mill; thus, it seems only fitting that he faces the criminals who took away his life back in the steel mill. I only had one issue with the last sequence: one of the bad guys drives headlong into a toxic waste container, and goes rolling down the road in the toxic waste. When he emerges, his skin looks like it’s melting off and he’s deformed; even his fingers look monstrous. Then, the man meets his end when Boddicker runs him over—but, when he gets run over he disintegrates or explodes (?), his remains splattering the windshield like green goo. I thought that part was unrealistic, or more exaggerated than the rest of the movie.

In the end, the people you wanted to die, died and the people you wanted to live, lived. I highly recommend this movie.


(NOTE: Trailer features the same theme music from The Terminator)

1 comment:

Vladigogo said...

What is really great about this film are all the satiric commercials and television programs interspersed throughout.

Unfortunately, Peter Weller never really amounted to anything after ROBOCOP.