Anthony's Film Review

RoboCop (1987)

Good bloody action and thrills make RoboCop an exciting action movie...

At first, I thought RoboCop would be an average action movie involving an easily conceived plot premise. It's not too difficult to write a story about a powerful robot who becomes a valuable addition to a police force that otherwise has its hands full with the criminals they face. And when you have an idea like that, it's tempting to assume that the story will predictably involve the robot easily winning over the bad guys. But once I saw RoboCop, I was more impressed than I had expected.

Why? Because the movie is not afraid to be gritty and violent. In fact, RoboCop takes place in the American city of Detroit, which is notoriously crime-ridden. To further illustrate the intensity of this movie, consider the early scene where officer Alex Murphy, without any backup, is weaponless against a group of five hoodlums with big guns. Murphy gets one hand shot off, then he is repeatedly pummeled by bullets (maybe at least 20) from those guns and shot in the head one last time. (The scene also shows Murphy without one arm, but that particular dismembering was edited out to ensure an R rating in the United States.) Afterwards, he is declared dead, and his head is integrated into a crime-fighting machine called RoboCop.

While RoboCop does do a more than fine job stopping various crimes in progress, he is not invincible. His vulnerability is the other reason I liked this movie. He may be programmed to protect and serve and uphold the law, but because his brain still retains some memories, he is suddenly distracted by images of his former life as a cop, husband, and father of a young boy. In one interesting scene, he visits his former home, which his family already moved out of, as images come flooding back. Later, RoboCop is heavily damaged in some action scenes, so it's not like he can't die.

There are plenty of other cool things about this movie. For one thing, the plot doesn't just center on street crime. There's also the presence of OCP, the corporation that designed RoboCop and is helping (or rather, taking over) the Detroit police force. I also appreciated how RoboCop has one trusted ally in a woman cop named Anne Lewis. And lastly, the villain himself, a man named Boddicker, may be a typical street criminal, but his menacing persona really makes him stand out.

RoboCop is quite an enjoyable thrill ride. The action is cool, the cast (including Peter Weller as Murphy/RoboCop and Nancy Allen as Anne Lewis) is memorable, and the story is better than average. Director Paul Verhoeven and his team did some fine work here. This is a film for action movie fans, science-fiction movie fans, and crime movie fans. It interweaves each of those three genres well, creating a single motion picture that won't disappoint any of those audiences.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about RoboCop, visit the Internet Movie Database.

In addition, check out my reviews of RoboCop 2 and RoboCop 3, plus the remake film RoboCop.


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