Robocop (1987)

Directed by Paul Verhoeven
Written by Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner
(number 408)

It’s a very 80s movie. The suits and the hair and the makeup. Also the cheesiness of the dialogue and the violence. To be honest I don’t think I’ve actually watched this film before. But I did play the Amiga 500 Robocop game quite a lot. All I remember about it was that there were riots in downtown Detroit and I liked the mini games which came up in between levels – identikit picture matching and stuff like that, and the save the hostage bits.

Okay, my first problem with this movie is: Why on Earth would they give the robot live ammunition for a Board demonstration? It makes no sense at all. Did they have no testers at all?? Ridiculous.

I found the torture sequence of Murphy pretty gross, but also it was drastically undercut by the half hearted ‘ow, ooh ow’ pain acting Peter Weller. He sounded more like he was getting a dead arm rather than limbs blown off. Also Anna got mad that he was shot in the head and somehow still alive and savable. Like, come on, he shoulda been dead.

Does it make me love the people? I really liked Anne. It’s sorta like, yeah you’re meant to care about Murphy but I found his acting pretty wooden, even before he became a robot. I guess yeah, I mean, he’s fighting the good fight. I found there was a bit too much action/explosions and not enough story to really care. I felt pretty meh about the sequence where he explores his old house and remembers his family. Like, watching it and going ‘yes, objectively this is sad, but I feel nothing’.

I did like the little sly jokes, the advert for the ‘nukem’ family game, that sort of stuff. I laughed.

Bechdel test: There are two women in the scene with the bad guy, they talk about coke and compete for his attention but they are neither of them named, also they talk through him. Anne Lewis is a pretty great character – a bad ass, moral cop whose gender is never brought up in any way (positive or negative) so that’s pretty neat, but she doesn’t talk to any other named woman.

Best line:
Bob Morton: What are your Prime Directives?
RoboCop: Serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law.
( shown on screen 4th Directive: – classified –

Woman hostage ( hugging Robocop): Oh, God. I was so scared. Thank you. Oh, thank you.
RoboCop: Madam, you have suffered an emotional shock. I will notify a rape crisis center.

State of Mind: Why did it have to be so gross? There’s some high octane nightmare fuel from the moment he takes off his visor onwards. I know this movie had a huge impact on the popular culture and it’s a huge milestone for 80s movies. I didn’t love it though, not sure I’d watch it again and only half tempted to watch the sequels.

Watched movie count


2 thoughts on “Robocop (1987)

  1. There’s some fun stuff in Robocop 2. DO NOT watch number 3. It’s terrible. The only good bit is Johnny Rehab, and that’s only about 5 – 10 seconds.

  2. People get shot in the head and survive from time to time (I won’t post links because yuck) and the movie indicated that he had brain damage (memory loss etc) but otherwise fair enough.

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