Movie Talk: Robocop!

Movie Talk: Robocop!

Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 action packed satire is still a classic and still has a vast cult following. Today, I want to discuss this movie in detail and discuss how and why this film remains so beloved by so many after such a long period of time.


Ready to kick some ass


Robocop is about a police officer, Alex Murphy, who is mercilessly gunned down in the line of duty and then rebuilt into a cyborg by an immoral cooperation. OCP are the real antagonists of all 4 movies as they are using Robocop for PR purposes for their own greed in order to gain financial monopoly over the city of Detroit. The heart of the movie is the internal conflict within Murphy as he slowly overrides his programming and returns to a state of humanity again.


RoboCop is a great example, perhaps the best example, of a film that should have remained as a standalone. No sequels, no remakes. The first movie told us everything we needed to know about this story and the sequels and remake added very little – if anything – to that. 

The first movie shows Alex Murphy being brutally shot by a gang of Detroit thugs armed with shotguns and colourful language. Upon his death, OCP decide to use Murphy’s dead body as the basis for the experimental cybernetic program – turning him into RoboCop (resurrecting him from the dead, also).

Peter Weller did a good job in this movie


When the 4th directive kicks in

RoboCop then patrols the streets of Detroit, cleaning up crime as and where he see’s it. It is when he pursues and tracks down the gang that murdered him that Murphy finds out that the real villain is OCP’s CEO named Dick Jones, who installed a ‘4th directive’ into his programming to prevent him from harming any senior officer at OCP, this gives Dick Jones both the leverage and the safety that he needs to control our hero.

The climax of the movie is when RoboCop finds Clarence, the man who killed him, and, whereas previously in the movie he let’s Clarence live due to him being a cop, in the final climax he tells Clarence that he is not going to arrest him before he kills him. He goes from being a programmed machine to becoming a man wanting revenge for the life that was taken from him. He goes from a machine back to a human being – and this is the journey that RoboCop takes us on, and it’s a journey we all loved experiencing. 



What made the original so great was that it existed on both sides of the same coin. On one hand it was a dumb action movie, where RoboCop crashes into a warehouse full of bad guys, shoots the place up killing everyone, and nobody thinks to shoot him in the mouth. But at the same time, the movie knows what it is and it plays with the genre very well.  

In the same way RoboCop is a killing machine at the behest of an evil cooperation, but as a human being, the film is a mindless action romp at the same time as being a thoughtful satire.
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