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Wednesday 28 November 2012

Burl reviews Robocop! (1987)

Ha ha, please don’t leave, it’s just me, Burl, here to review an action picture from the 1980s! It’s called Robocop, and of course we’ve all seen the picture and have a healthy appreciation of it, no doubt! I recall seeing this one in the movie theatre, though I had to sneak in! Ha ha, I once tried to sneak into the same theatre to see Cobra, but didn’t make it that time! I’ll leave it to you to decide whether that was bad luck operating for me then, or good!
I was certainly pleased to get in to Robocop! As we’re all aware, it takes place in some near but unspecified future year (my guess: 1997, just like Predator 2!), and in Detroit, and in this particular time and place, crime is rampant! Police services have been privatized, and robot forces are called in to deal with the malfeasants! There are two schools of thought on this point, however: should they be huge, machine-gun laden stop-motion robots, or cyborgs puzzled together from hydraulics, computer chips and the corpses of dead policemen? Ronny “The Beast Within” Cox encourages the former, Miguel “Leviathan” Ferrer the latter, and it’s up to Dan “Halloween III” O’Herlihy to make the final call!
A small workplace accident ensures that Ferrer’s idea, a robocop made out of shiny purple-blue plastic and otherwise unusable Peter Weller parts, will be the one put into development! Ha ha, we all know the rest of the plot: Robocop slowly recovers his humanity as he battles the thugs who killed him (or at least his likeable family man Peter Weller persona), and ultimately takes down the corrupt and murderous Cox!
Ha ha, lots has been written about the picture’s sharp satirical digs at corporatism! There are indeed a few fake ads for violent board games and for electric hearts on the layaway plan, and some snippets from a moronic sit-com called I’d Buy That For A Dollar, but the film treads curiously lightly on the whole privatization of the police force thing! It’s certainly an issue in the picture, but the real dangers of privatization, namely the profit motive getting in the way of the services, doesn’t really come up!
It’s certainly a violent picture! There’s lots of shooting, and every bullet takes big chunks out of the person it hits! There’s stabbing too, and also a scene in which a man is rendered into oatmeal by a little mishap involving toxic waste! It’s entertaining all the way through, and fast-paced, and it has a great cast! It’s not action packed, at least not by 21st century standards, but that’s okay! I’ve still never seen the third installment of the Robocop series, despite owning a DVD set containing all three entries, much in the same way I have yet to bother watching my DVD of Poltergeist III! Both of them seem like they’ll be watered down and lame!
In closing, I would like to say that the upcoming remake of this picture looks terrible, and as with the recent remake of another Paul Verhoeven film, Total Recall, I’m not going to make any particular effort to see it! In the meantime, I give the original Robocop three “nee-nee-nee-nee-nees!”  

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