Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Film Review: Robocop (1987)

Robocop (Review)
United States/1987
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"Robocop stands with other SciFi classics from the era..."

With the city in shambles, the Detroit police are ran by Omni Consumer Products (OCP), a mega-corporation. When a violent incident occurs, they seize the opportunity to test their Robocop experiment...

Robocop primarily follows Officer Murphy (Peter Weller). When he's slaughtered by a vicious crime lord, OCP rebuilds him as Robocop -- fairly self-explanatory, a robot cop. So, while Robocop lowers the crime rate with pinpoint accuracy, OCP continue to plot their destruction of rundown areas of Detroit and construction of their high-end replacement city, Delta City. Anyway, Robocop soon realizes his true identity and seeks justice, which entangles him in a larger conspiracy. The climax is fantastic. The ending, albeit abrupt, is charming -- for lack of a better term.

You see, Robocop is a cheesy 80's SciFi movie. Its not the cringe-worthy type of cheese, though, it's more a charming type of cheese. Some of the special effects are severely outdated, and some dialogue is over-the-top and strange, but it ultimately works out. I couldn't help but stay seated and murmur, "This is cool." The concept, the style, the special effects (gore included), and music... Everything about this film was cool.

The action sequences are especially effective. I liked the direction and camerawork during these scenes, but I think the over-the-top violence is most memorable. Watching a hand explode or someone getting his junk shot simply isn't seen in today's films. It's not that I love violence, but I think it gives the film charm and personality. It also helps the film get its point across. The story isn't just some shoot em' up. It has a pinch of black humor that speaks volumes about society -- it's still relevant today! The one thing I didn't like about the film was one particular villain -- he's so over-the-top and cliché, you'll notice it as soon as you hear that hyena laugh.

The acting is good. Peter Weller does very well as Murphy/Robocop. Kurtwood Smith is also great as the main antagonist. Some of the acting is over-the-top, but it seems normal for an 80's flick. The music is fantastic, a great and memorable soundtrack. The special effects are mostly superb, especially the practical effects -- even if they don't look 100% realistic at times, I always appreciate practical special effects. The writing is clever and witty, and very creative. Director Paul Verhoeven, who also directed the fantastic Total Recall, crafts another lively and entertaining SciFi film with minimal errors.

Overall, Robocop is a fantastic film. It has very few flaws, and manages to immensely entertain with a barrage of splendid action sequences and witty writing -- if you like your films with a pinch of commentary, Robocop has you covered. It's a little cheesy, but it never fails to entertain. Robocop stands with other SciFi classics from the era like Predator and The Terminator. Don't miss it.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore, some brief nudity.

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