RoboCop (1987) – 7/10
Cyberpunk dystopia in the late 80s. Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall – the good one – and Starship Troopers) directs.
Things are so bad in Detroit, Michigan USA that a strong police presence is needed 24/7. City planners invest in enforcement droids, with fatal malfunctions.
Peter Weller is the fresh faced Murphy, newly assigned to the Detroit PD. Impatience and imprudence on his first mission with new partner Lewis (Nancy Allen) have dire consequences. Murphy is mortally wounded and revived as the cyborg RoboCop. Memory of his past life erased; all that remains of Murphy is his face, rewired brain and a simplified digestive system.
RoboCop is relentless and successful. Detroit is being cleansed. But in true dystopian style politics, greed and fear lead to a backlash against the new order and RoboCop. Justice ultimately prevails and RoboCop rediscovers his humanity, he’s Murphy again. Or MurphyRoboCop.
Weller’s portrayal of RoboCop is engaging. Stalwart and stiffly robotic. Jerky yet fluid movement. Tireless engagement to ‘Serve the public trust, Protect the innocent, and Uphold the law’. Through RoboCop’s eyes Weller reveals a sense of Murphy’s tragically, sad predicament but ultimate strength of character. Added to this is an occasional twinkle of humour and we glimpse a hero.