PK's Movie Reviews: Vol. 2

Robocop (1987) Review


I remember the first time I saw RoboCop sitting on the shelves of a video store (remember those?) in Cleveland, OH back in 1996. For whatever reason, the cover always caught my eye. Was I afraid of the robotic police officer on the front cover or did a movie about a robotic police officer just sound pretty amazing? I think it was a little bit of both. 

After watching RoboCop for the first time since seeing it in a store 21 years ago, I couldn't believe my eyes. From the very beginning of the film, we are brought into a cinematic universe of parody, comedy, violence, drama, action and so much more. From the spot on newscasts where war and violence are mixed in with feel good stories and cheesy dialogue, I knew from the onset that RoboCop was going to exceed my expectations. 

This movie is violent, folks. It is done for effect but the brilliance in RoboCop is that the film actually shows what powerful and technologically advanced weaponry does to a human body. It will make you cringe, but while these companies and organizations fight for ultimate military dominance, we see first-hand just what these weapons are doing to the people of this world.

It is a pretty amazing feat. For starters, RoboCop is a direct reflection on society in the 1980s. Watching it in 2017, it didn't feel very off from life today with its portrayal of excess, greed, violence, militarization, fear, politics, corporations, money and more. RoboCop is very much a futuristic Western with its "There's a new Sheriff in town" feel and it's focus on putting the bad guys behind bars. Yet, just like many of those Westerns, we realize there is always a bigger motive at hand, and in RoboCop, it is all about the money. Isn't it always? 

Lost lives throughout the film are calculated as company costs and financial losses, instead of as emotionally tragic events. The corporate dollar is king in RoboCop and at OCP, where employees fight for recognition, control and power, while placing a hold on American society at-large. This mega corporation isn't far off from a slew of companies running our world today and the film quickly turned pretty scary when I started to think about it that way. 

From a character standpoint, there are some true gems in this film. Clarence Boddicker and his goons are some of the best around and the real scenes of their violence and mayhem are actually pretty terrifying. RoboCop does an amazing job of portraying the parody of American society and corporate greed, but creating real scenes of violence and mayhem that are downright terrifying. 

Where OCP gears up for their war on crime (sound familiar?), we are left wondering who the bad guys really are in this film. It all seems pretty blurry to me. Overall, RoboCop is a smart, fast-paced, violent, parodic observation on American society and is an all-time classic in my book. I almost didn't take the time to write this review out today, but in all honesty, I never miss a game!

PK's SCORE: 9/10