Title: Robocop (1987)
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Ronnie Cox, Miguel Ferrer & Kurtwood Smith
Murphy (Weller) is a cop in a futuristic version of Detroit. He and his new partner Lewis (Allen) tail a gang led by Clarence Boddicker (Smith) to a foundry, where Murphy is ambushed and brutally murdered by the gang. Meanwhile a company called OCP led by Bob Morton (Ferrer) are looking for human test subjects in order to create the perfect robotic law enforcement officer. Murphy, presumed dead by his family and Lewis is reborn as Robocop. After a while, Robocop starts to remember his previous life as Murphy and wants revenge on Boddicker and his gang. He must also contend with the real kingpin Dick Jones (Cox), who has created a rival robot.
Peter Weller gives his most enduring performance in the title role. He really delivered in terms of the robotic elements of his character and has an authoritative voice, which only enhanced the role. Kurtwood Smith, he of That 70s Show fame is suitably sleazy as Clarence Boddicker. He has some cracking dialogue and his sneering, sarcastic delivery is brilliant. Ronnie Cox and Miguel Ferrer lend some nice support work and the rest of the cast are also very worthy.
Robocop was and is a very violent movie. The theatrical version is less violent than the extended cut, but is still very gory and bloody. Murphy’s murder in particular is extremely graphic in the extended version, so maybe look away if you are particularly squeamish. Robocop was skilfully directed by Paul Verhoeven, who delivered some very memorable scenes. There are also little advertisements and vignettes that are shown throughout, which make you feel as if you are part of the movie world.
Robocop was remade in 2014 and starred Joel Kinnaman and Michael Keaton. It was an adequate film, but utterly pointless as the original still holds up thirty years on. What really makes Robocop stand out amongst other action films are its smart script and engaging sequences.