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Robocop (1987)

June 26, 2009

9/10 Great Reasons to Not Take Up A Life of Crime

Sweet sassy molassy, do I freakin’ love this movie. One of the few awesome things about the 1980s that didn’t involve synthesizers or Flock of Seagulls.

Robocop is about a guy who joins the Detroit police force in the near future and gets shot up within an inch of his life by street thugs his first day on the job. Buzzkill. But instead of kicking the bucket, the mayor of Detroit decides to make this cop a living test subject of kickass law enforcement technology and turns him into fucking ROBOCOP!

And that, kids, is why you don’t kill cops.

Directed by Paul Verhoeven, who can be great (Total Recall & Starship Troopers) or pretty damn bad (Hollow Man & Showgirls), this is easily the best thing he’s ever done for the world. He’s the real reason this movie’s the great time that it is. Him and the great script.

Like most of Verhoeven’s movies, Robocop has its fair share of crazy violence. It gets a little over-the-top at times (the old “guy gets horribly mutated by chemical waste” gag), but then again, it also brings some serious laughs in turn (the old “mutated guy gets hit by car” gag).

Look, it’s rated-R and it’s called Robocop, you should be ready for some violence.

But Robocop has everything you’d want from a movie that combines two of everyone’s favorite things: vigilante justice and robots. It’s got wild special effects which don’t look terrible twenty years later, a great, engaging story that’s much more than just popcorn fluff, absolutely hilarious dialogue, and it also has two of the all-time great sci-fi characters to boot – Robocop (of course) and Clarence J. Boddicker.

For those unfamiliar, Clarence Boddicker is one of the meanest, brutal, most coldblooded and funny villians ever put to screen. He’s almost like Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) from No Country For Old Men, only with less hair and a bigger smile. He’s not the mastermind behind all the evildoing in the movie, but he is the baddest dude by far, he’s got some of the best lines, and he’s played by Kurtwood Smith.

Yup, he’s played by Red Forman from That ’70s Show. And he is awesome.

Despite the ways in which it transcends the sci-fi and action genres, it’s still very much a guy movie. Lots of explosions, lots of guns from the future, and while there is one tough woman who serves as Robocop’s partner in the force, it’s not really enough to appeal to a wider female audience the way it would to grunting, barbaric men. Don’t hold me on that though, not just gonna throw out generalizations all willy-nilly here.

I realize that for some people who haven’t seen this movie, the title “Robocop” might make it sound more stupid than badass. But let me assure you, there is nothing stupid about this movie. If all Summer blockbusters were still as good as this, the world would be a much better place.

Suck on that, Michael Bay.

Robocop will always be a personal favorite of mine and I completely recommend it. One of those movies I could watch a thousand times and never get tired of. And that’s a beautiful thing.

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