Andrew's Review of RoboCop
(Spoilers contained within)
I think very highly of Robocop. The only drawback to this film is that it is a little gory but the story it tells is compelling and the characters all do excellent jobs in their roles. Like many other good science fiction films Robocop asks some important questions about the meaning of life, what it means to be human and how much of you can be replaced by machinery before you stop being human. There isn't a clear answer to this question though the remaining flesh that hangs from the bowels of Robocop's robotic construct seems to keep human sensibility and psychological wherewithal intact.
I love how much I hate Boddicker after watching his gruesome murder of Officer Alex Murphy. The scene is effective in establishing the meaning of the film and why we hate the bad guy and also why the bad guy is bad. This has never been more clearly established in any film ever. The bad guys in this movie do a very good job in general I think - they seem driven to destroy society and instantiate lawlessness so that they can do the things that they want to do.
Watching Robocop repair himself, seeing his face as he chases down the bad guys, realizing that he was once a little more human AND watching him fight crime while encountering distorted memories from the person he once was --- all of this brings good character development to the table and strong resolve. There are several scenes where we see a flash from the past - the scene where officer Murphy dies or scenes where he is with his wife and child. For Robocop, realizing that he was once human and encountering these distorted memories of his past are not as much for him as they are for the audience itself. It is moving and emotionally complex. Robocop expresses anger and hatred and disgust. Seeing the abilities that Robocop has - his indestructible nature -- gives the audience a huge boost - we realize that Robocop means business. This is absolutely THRILLING!!!!
Robocop knows right from wrong and good from bad and he displays attributes that make us think of him as wholly human. Toward the end of the movie Robocop tells Officer Anne Lewis (regarding his family) "I can feel them but I don't remember them," and this is one of my favorite lines in all of cinema -- it is thought provoking to interpret this lines meaning. It seems that his human emotions are intact and yet he is missing information about what his former life was like - he still feels emotion about certain things but does not remember the things he feels the emotions about OR vice-versa.
I guess the bottom line is that kudos are in order for Peter Weller and also Paul Verhoeven. Kudos to Robocop! This is a fantastic film with a broad appeal and definitely has made a place for itself in the sci-fi genre. If Terminator put James Cameron on the map, Robocop definitely put Paul Verhoeven on the map. When watching this movie, please take a step back and think about how real everything feels. Much like Terminator, there was no holding back in this film and we saw everything in brutal detail.
**** out of ****