Archive for Robocop

Revisited: RoboCop

Posted in Movie Reviews, Revisited with tags , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2015 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In the near future, Detroit, Michigan, is a dystopia and on the verge of total collapse and anarchy due to financial ruin and a high crime rate, higher than any large American city. To avoid mass collapse, the city mayor has signed a deal with the mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products (OCP), allowing them to run and control the underfunded police force in exchange for giving OCP the freedom to demolish the poor run-down sections of Detroit and construct a high-end utopia called “Delta City,” to be managed by OCP as an independent city-state free of the United States. However, OCP must clean the city of crime in order for the plan to be put in effect.

This move angers the police officers as they are now forced to obey OCP instead of the city, and they threaten to strike, but OCP evaluates other options for law enforcement. OCP senior president Dick Jones (Ronny Cox) offers the prototype ED-209 enforcement droid, but when it accidentally kills a board member during a demonstration, the OCP chairman, nicknamed “The Old Man” (Dan O’Herlihy), decides to go with the experimental cyborg design titled “RoboCop” as suggested by the younger Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer). His decision disgusts Jones, who objects to the idea of a human having robotic parts.

Because a recently-deceased officer is needed for the RoboCop prototype, OCP reassigns police officers to more crime-ridden districts, expecting officers to be killed in the line of duty. One such officer is Alex J. Murphy (Peter Weller), who is teamed with Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen), a rookie police officer. On their first patrol, they chase down a gang led by the ruthless criminal Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith), tailing them to an abandoned steel mill. When Murphy and Lewis are separated, Boddicker’s gang corner him, then gun him down with shotguns.

Murphy is pronounced dead and is chosen by Morton for the RoboCop program. As RoboCop, he is given three primary directives: serve the public trust, protect the innocent, and uphold the law, as well as a fourth classified directive that Morton doesn’t know of. He single-handedly and efficiently cleans Detroit of crime, and Morton is given praise for his success. This draws Jones’ anger with Morton’s plan working perfectly while Jones’s ED-209 is ridiculed. Lewis eventually discovers that RoboCop is really Murphy. Murphy experiences past events from his life and, at one point, returns to his former home, finding out that his wife and son have long since moved away, thinking that Murphy has died.

Later on, as Morton shares cocaine with two prostitutes, Boddicker arrives, forces the prostitutes to leave, then shoots Morton’s legs, crippling him. He then shows him the message from Jones, explaining that he hired the killer to execute him for going over his head and not going through the proper channels of OCP. Boddicker then places a grenade on the table and abandons the crippled executive, leaving him to die after Jones tells him he is ‘cashing him out’.

Murphy tracks down Boddicker to a cocaine factory and threatens to kill him, but Boddicker admits his affiliation with Jones, and is able to verbally trigger RoboCop’s law-abiding directive. Murphy finds he cannot kill Boddicker and arrests him instead. He approaches Jones at OCP headquarters and attempts to make an arrest, but Jones reveals he planted the hidden fourth directive that prevents Murphy from taking any action against an OCP executive. Jones explains his larger goal of taking over OCP, and confesses to Morton’s murder. Although he orders his personal ED-209 to kill Murphy, Lewis is able to help Murphy escape and takes him to the same steel mill at which he was murdered to repair himself and recover. There, Lewis learns that much of his personality still exists intact.

Meanwhile, the police force, under further duress by OCP and fearing their replacement by the RoboCop program, finally goes on strike and crime runs rampant. Boddicker regroups his gang to take out Murphy using anti-tank rifles and a tracking device provided by Jones. They converge on the steel mill, but Murphy and Lewis are able to fend off the attack and kill the gang, although Lewis is wounded. Murphy assures her that medical help is on the way, and heads back to OCP, easily destroying the ED-209 guarding Jones using one of the anti-tank rifles.

He arrives at the board room where Jones is offering his ED-209 to replace the Detroit Police Department, which is still out on strike. Murphy replays Jones’s confession, which reveals his duplicity to the board, and explains that he is unable to act against an OCP officer. Jones threatens to kill The Old Man unless he’s given a helicopter. The Old Man immediately fires Jones, which gives RoboCop clearance to kill him by shooting him out the window. The Old Man thanks RoboCop and asks for his name, to which RoboCop replies, “Murphy.”


The city of Detroit has fallen on some hard times of late, but if there is one thing they haven’t lost it is that they are the city in which RoboCop was based. Ironically, this film was set in the future and now “old Detroit” resembles actual Detroit. As a staple of 80s R-rated action, this is surely worth a viewing, right? Especially since I’m not in the most pleasant of moods right now since the President has taken over the airwaves and I’m missing Agent Carter and I already missed The Flash thanks to traffic. Let’s hope this cheers me up.

What is this about?

A monolithic corporation controlling a futuristic, crime-riddled Detroit transforms a dead cop into a cybernetic law-enforcement unit called Robocop.

What did I like?

Commercials. I hate commercials. When they come on, that’s when I flip through channels. When ads pop up on YouTube, I press the skip button, or open another window and do some random surfing. However, the commercials that are interspersed throughout this film caught my attention, mainly because they are just random cutaways and the products they are advertising are just plain ridiculous, such as a Battleship-type game called “Nuke ‘Em” that the whole family can enjoy. You know, I was watching these things and started pondering whether or not this is where Cowboy Bebop got the idea for their random broadcasts.

Satire. When you look at this film, the last thing you think of is that it is a comedy, unless you count the 80s cheesiness of it, of course, but truth be told, there is so much satirical material in here that a few tweaks to the script would have totally changed its genre. For instance, the big corporation running everything was supposed to be an allegory for how “big brother” was going to look out for us in the future. Debate whether that happened or not. Some theories have compared the death and “resurrection” of Officer Murphy to Jesus. Yes, you read that right! Apparently, this was the director’s intent, going even further by having the idea of him walking through water at one point in the film symbolize Jesus’ walk on water. Of course, there are the aforementioned commercials which take consumer culture at the time and turn it on its head with how ridiculous they are. Who would have thought this little action movie would have such a message hidden underneath, right?

Hemoglobin. Ah, good ol’ 80s R-rated action flicks! There truly is nothing like them. Why? Well, just look at the death scenes! They are bloody as hell. Peter Weller’s character gets his hand shot off, then has a firing squad of shotgun shells put in him, followed by a show from a pistol, and we see all this bloody goodness. In an earlier scene, the ED-209 shoots up a guy in the office and the blood gushes like no one’s business. This is not to forget the guy at the end who crashes into a vat of toxic waste, has his skin melting and then is smashed by his bosses car. Back then this kind of stuff was allowed, and it was awesome! Today, well the fact that horror movies are rated PG-13 and don’t have killing in them most of the time, even if they are a slasher flick, should tell you something.

What didn’t I like?

Partner. The main character of this film is Peter Weller’s Robocop and he is mostly a solo act, but for some reason I wanted more from his partner. Granted, this is a woman who watched her brand new partner get brutally gunned down, and there really wasn’t much of a connection developed between them beforehand. That being said, a partner is a partner, and in the world of 80s cinema, females either have extreme compassion or develop feelings for their male counterparts, sometimes both. In Allen’s case, she does the former, but there is no reason for her to be in the film past the shooting, other than to tell Weller that his wife and kid are gone.

Wife and son. Speaking of the wife and son, we never really see them, other than in flashbacks. When Weller, as Robocop, returns to his home, they are gone, it is up for sale, and everything looks like it survived a mini house fire. What is wrong with this, you ask? Well, the duration of the film where Weller is a cyborg, he is struggling to find his humanity. What is more human that the two most important things in a man’s life? Surely, they would have helped him with that. On another point, I can’t see the wife just letting her husband’s body be donated to an experiment like this and then just packing up and leaving town, even if it is Detroit and they just moved there.

Mr. Ed. There is no bigger proponent of stop-motion animation than I, and the fact that they used this technique on a mechanical creature, the ED-209, rather than dinosaurs and mythical creatures was something that I appreciated (the dinosaur in one of the commercials is stop-motion, now that I think about it). While I appreciated it, that doesn’t mean it worked. Maybe this is just something that hasn’t stood the test of time, but there is a look to the film that is sleek and sophisticated, dare I say modern or even futuristic (for the time that this was released), and then there is ED-209, who is supposed to be even more futuristic looking, but comes off as more of a cartoon. Making matters worse is that this is supposed to be a giant killing machine that is meant to uphold the law. How can you take something like this seriously when it can’t walk down stairs without falling and then squealing like a pig? For comic relief, that was fine, but it didn’t fit in with what this thing was supposed to do.

With all the police issue going around these days, RoboCop is just what we need. I highly doubt he would have choked a guy to death for just standing there, or killed a guy who hadn’t committed a crime, or any of the other things that have been reported (and not reported) involving police and their killing the public. This is a good 80s escape film. What I mean by that is you will be transported back to the 80s when you watch this, and that isn’t a bad thing. Unfortunately, there is a remake that was released which I’m sure just defecated all over the legacy of this film, but you can never go wrong with the original! So, do I recommend this picture? Yes, very highly!

4 out of 5 stars


Robocop 3

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2010 by Mystery Man


The main plot of RoboCop 3 involves RoboCop (Robert John Burke) finding a new family, as he has apparently given up hope of seeing his wife or son again. He forms a bond with an orphaned little Japanese-American computer whiz girl named Nikko, as well as coming into contact with an underground paramilitary resistance. The resistance, built up of underprivileged urban families, formed after Omni Consumer Products (OCP) began relocating them in order to build Delta City on the land encompassing Detroit’s Cadillac Heights area. RoboCop also finds one of the original scientists from the first two films, Dr. Marie Lazarus (Jill Hennessy), who built and operated on him, and has left the organization after becoming disillusioned with it.

Meanwhile, OCP is on the verge of bankruptcy and creates an armed force called the Urban Rehabilitators (“Rehabs” for short), under the command of Paul McDaggett (John Castle), to combat rising crime in Old Detroit and augment the ranks of Detroit Police in apprehending violent criminals, while in reality forcibly relocating the residents of Cadillac Heights, killing some of them (including Nikko’s parents) in the process. The Police force is gradually superseded by the Rehab forces, and violent crime begins to spiral out of control once more. The Delta City dream of the former CEO and “Old Man” lives on through the help of a Japanese zaibatsu, the Kanemitsu Corporation, who bought a controlling stake in OCP. Kanemitsu sees the potential in the citywide redevelopment, and moves forward with its own plans to remove the current citizens. The company develops and uses its own ninja robots (called “Otomo”) to help McDaggett and the OCP President overcome the resistance of the anti-OCP militia forces.

When RoboCop and Lewis try to defend unarmed civilians from the Rehabs one night, Lewis is killed by McDaggett. Unable to fight back because of the Fourth Directive, RoboCop is saved by members of the resistance and eventually joins their cause. Due to severe damage sustained in the shootout, RoboCop’s systems efficiency plummets, and he asks the resistance to summon Dr. Lazarus, who promptly arrives and begins to treat him, deleting the Fourth Directive in the process. During an earlier raid on an armory, the resistance has picked up a flight pack prototype originally intended for RoboCop’s use, which Lazarus modifies and upgrades.

After recovering from his injuries, RoboCop conducts a one-man campaign against the Rehabs. He finds McDaggett and attempts to subdue him, but McDaggett is able to escape, and accepts information from a disgruntled resistance member (Stephen Root) to find the base. The base is invaded by the Rehabs, and most of the resistance members are either killed or taken prisoner. Nikko escapes with the help of Lazarus, who is taken back into the OCP building as a prisoner.

RoboCop returns to the rebel base, only to find it abandoned. One of the Otomo ninjabots shows up and attacks him. RoboCop experiences another power drain, but is able to destroy his opponent. Meanwhile, Nikko infiltrates the OCP building and manages to have Lazarus broadcast an improvised televisation of OCP being behind the entire criminal outbreaks and implicating them for the removal and termination of the Cadillac Heights residents. RoboCop hears this broadcast and latches the jetpack onto himself. The broadcast also causes OCP’s stock to plunge dramatically, driving the company into total ruin.

McDaggett decides to execute an all-out strike against Cadillac Heights with the help of the Detroit City police department, but all of the police officers defect to the resistance in outrage, as moving people out of their homes is not part of a cop’s job; as a result, McDaggett hires street gangs and punks as additional muscle. Just when the combined forces of the Rehabs and gangs are about to wipe out the rebels and Detroit Police, RoboCop flies into the scene with his jetpack and defeats the attackers before he proceeds to the OCP building, where McDaggett is waiting for him. Two other Otomo robots confront RoboCop and nearly manage to defeat him when Nikko and Lazarus succeed in reprogramming them, forcing them to destroy each other. This, however, triggers a self-destruct in both units. RoboCop reignites his jet pack, the discharge of flame hitting McDaggett’s leg and rendering him immobile, and escapes with Nikko and Lazarus, while McDaggett perishes in the blast.

As Old Detroit is being cleaned up, Kanemitsu arrives and bows to RoboCop. When the now ex-OCP President calls RoboCop by his former name Murphy, RoboCop scolds him, “My friends call me Murphy. You call me RoboCop.”


This franchise started with such promise, but the sequels just have not stood up to the brilliance of the original Robocop. Robocop 3 should be a lesson to filmmakers on why you don’t make a random third film, unless it furthers the story along.

My initial issue with this film is, first of all, they changed the actor who played Robocop. While it doesn’t take the best Thespian to play Robocop, there is juts something about continuity here. I read that there was a scheduling conflict that kept him out of it. If that was the case, then they should have waited for him to be done. Just having him in this would have made it at least more bearable.

Next, this thing is so un-Robocop like that it isn’t even  worthy of the title. They reduced this to a PG-13 rating, For those of you that have seen the first two films, you know that they are graphic, violent, and deal with lots of intense themes. This one totally ignores such things and just plods along through some plot that a 5 yr old kid could have come up with.

My frustrations continue with the killing of Nancy Allen’s character. I’m torn on this because on one hand, killing her makes for a good plot twist (one of the few good things about this film), but on the other hand, taking her away took something away from Robocop. The guy doesn’t have much, and you take away his one human friend. WTF?!?

Action is alright here, but I was so disillusioned and borderline pissed-off at this thing, that it was hard for me to enjoy it, but I did notice that it wasn’t really anything spectacular. Maybe because I was expecting some kind of blood and guts to be spilled. The watered down rating, diluted the action, that’s for sure.

The plot, as I mentioned could have been written by some kid in kindergarten, and I really wonder if that was the case. Robocop 2 didn’t have the best plot, but at least it didn’t feel like it was done with the same handiwork as a popcorn necklace.

What is it about the plot that I dislike? Well, the Rehab force made no sense. The fact that Detroit has seemingly gotten worse since the previous two films (even though it looked better in Robocop 2) bothers me, the ninja robots seemed thrust in just to give Robocop a robotic adversary. Oh, and the jetpack was nothing special. If they wanted to make that big of a deal about the thing, then they should have built it into him when they repaired him and have him make a big deal about his new equipment.

Robocop 3 is the weak link in the franchise (not counting the TV show). No wonder they wanted to reboot this thing. After seeing this, I’m almost tempted to back off my stance on reboots/remakes just to erase the memory of this mess. As much as I have sat here and bashed the hell out of this, but it isn’t a truly horrible film, it is just bad, especially in comparison to its predecessors. For that reason, I can’t, in good faith, recommend this film, unless you just want to finish the trilogy. It just isn’t worth it, unless you want to get angry seeing how far this franchise has fallen since the original Robocop.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars

Robocop 2

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , on July 31, 2010 by Mystery Man


RoboCop is slowly coming to grips with the loss of his former life as Alex Murphy. Though he attempts to reach out to his family, he eventually realizes he can never return to them. When he finally sees his wife, he tells her that the face was placed on him to honor Alex Murphy.

OCP’s current plans also come into focus: they attempt to have Detroit default on its debt, so that OCP can foreclose on the entire city, take over the city government, demolish the old city, and put up a planned community development, Delta City, in its place. As part of this plan, OCP forces a police strike by terminating their pension plan and cutting salaries. As RoboCop is property of OCP and cannot strike, this measure increases his duties as the city sinks further into chaos and terror.

Meanwhile, the Security Concepts division of OCP continues to sink millions into the development of a more advanced “RoboCop 2”. However, each project ends in disaster; once the officers realize what they have become, they immediately turn suicidal. They deduce that Murphy only survived because of his exceedingly strong sense of duty, and his moral objection to suicide as an Irish-Catholic. The scientists decide they need someone similar, like a criminal with a desire for power and immortality, regardless of the cost.

Throughout the city, a new designer drug named “Nuke” has been plaguing the streets. The primary distributor, Cain, believes that Nuke is the way to paradise, and is obsessed with power. He is assisted by his girlfriend Angie, his still-juvenile apprentice Hob, and Officer Duffy, a corrupt police officer. Having learned of Cain’s involvement with Nuke from Duffy, RoboCop confronts him and his gang at an abandoned construction site. However, RoboCop is rendered immobile and disassembled; the pieces are then left in front of the Detroit Police Station.

OCP, reluctant to foot his massive repair costs, ignores his fellow police officers insistence that he be repaired. RoboCop is saved when Dr. Juliette Faxx, an OCP psychologist, takes charge of the new RoboCop team. She argues for his importance as a figure of the community, and creates a list of over 300 new directives to be added to his program. Murphy is ultimately powerless to refuse the new commands, and is rendered unable to take aggressive action against criminals, even to defend himself. After the original RoboCop team explains what to do about this, Murphy shocks himself with a power cable to erase all of his directives. He then leads the striking officers off the picket line to attack Cain’s hideout. Cain is badly injured in the battle and is taken to the hospital. With Cain immobilized, Hob takes control. Faxx, having decided that Cain is perfect for the RoboCop 2 project, arrives at the hospital and switches off his life support. Later, while displaying the new RoboCop 2 (Cain) to the head of OCP, Faxx demonstrates how he may be pacified through a canister of pure Nuke.

Meanwhile, Hob arranges a secret meeting with the Mayor, offering to bail out the city’s debt to OCP, but only if he agrees to a hands-off policy regarding the distribution of Nuke. Since this would hinder OCP’s attempts to take over the city, they send RoboCop 2 in to kill everyone. While the mayor escapes through a sewer drain, all attendants, including Hob, Angie and two city councilmen, are slaughtered. RoboCop arrives late, only in time to find and comfort a dying Hob, who tells him about what happened.

During the unveiling of Delta City and Robocop 2 at a press conference, the OCP President unwittingly presents a canister filled with Nuke. Cain escapes control, destroying the control device that arms his weapons, and opens fire on the crowd. RoboCop arrives, and the two cyborgs battle throughout the building, eventually falling off the roof and into an underground facility. As the rest of the police force arrives and engages Cain, RoboCop heads back to the OCP building to get the canister of Nuke. Upon seeing the canister, RoboCop 2 immediately ceases fire and takes it. While distracted, RoboCop jumps onto his back, punches his way through to Cain’s brain, and crushes it.

The Chairman of OCP, executive Johnson, and OCP lawyer Holzgang discuss the companies liability for the massacre, and decide to scapegoat Faxx, claiming that she acted without company support in designing RoboCop 2. Lewis complains about how the OCP executives will escape legally unscathed, but RoboCop reassured Lewis and tells her to be patient.


Following the events of the original Robocop, Robocop 2 should have been an automatic smash, right? Well, not quite.

First off, there was some sort of change at the top, so we don’t have the same director or writers (I think). Second, the story doesn’t gel.

Don’t gret me wrong, having Robocop tackle both the war on drugs as well as the corruption in the city government works, but something about doing them both didn’t quite sit right with me. I think it was more to do with how these are two totally unrelated things that somehow get loosely connected through the use of the same leader, but they could have had that going on from day one and made it that much super.

Violence is something that you should expect from a late 80s-early 90s action flick, especially this, so I don’t wanna hear that all the shooting was too much. If you think this is too much, go watch a war movie!

The action could be better. I mean, it wasn’t bad, but Robocop moves so stiff and doesn’t appear available to run. This brings to question how does he chase down criminals? Sure, it looks like he catches all of them, but you can’t tell me there aren’t more tan a few who have simple run away. Roocop dos miss once in a while.

The casting is pretty much consistent with the first film, although I have to say that newcomer Gabriel Damon, who plays the kid that’s the second in command. He commands such a presence on the screen, you’d think he was a bonafide leading man.

As far as cop flicks go, this one is not going to be basking in the same glory as the original. However, it is worth a watching just to complete the trilogy. It isn’t as bad a critics make it out to be, but rather quite enjoyable. I could have down without the onslaught of technical attacks on Robosop. For some reason, I ws under the impression that all the armor and stuff was meant to protect him, and that what is left of his human side had enough free will to allow him to not seem so robotic. I guess this is worth a viewing, but if you really want to see a good action flick, there are plenty of alternatives.

3 out of 5 stars


Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , on September 27, 2008 by Mystery Man


The film is set in a dystopian near future, in Detroit, Michigan. Violent crime is out of control, and the city is in financial ruin. The city government contracts the megacorporation Omni Consumer Products (OCP) to fund and operate the police department, in effect privatizing it. OCP is not interested in rebuilding “Old Detroit” but rather replacing it with a modern utopia called “Delta City”. Before this construction project can begin, OCP wishes to end crime in the city, but knows it can’t rely on an already overwhelmed police department.

OCP Senior President Dick Jones (Ronny Cox) presents the new law enforcement droid ED-209, which he believes will end crime in Old Detroit, at an executive meeting. The demonstration quickly goes awry when ED-209 fails to recognize that the OCP volunteer dropped his weapon, as commanded by the droid. The unarmed executive unsuccessfully tries to flee and is gunned down. Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer) uses this opportunity to propose his alternative project, the RoboCop program, directly to the head of OCP (Daniel O’Herlihy) who accepts, earning Morton the wrath of Jones.

Detroit police officer Alex J. Murphy (Peter Weller), recently assigned to the Metro West precinct, is mortally wounded in action by a gang of criminals led by the notorious Clarence J. Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) and pronounced dead in the hospital. Murphy’s brain and face are rebuilt into a robot body, and he is dubbed RoboCop. RoboCop patrols the city and upholds the law and is extremely effective at stopping crime. Morton’s overwhelmingly successful project propels him to an OCP vice presidency, but Dick Jones warns him that his humiliation won’t go unanswered. Boddicker, who has been secretly working with Jones, later kills Bob Morton on Jones’ orders.

RoboCop starts to experience memories from his previous life and starts hunting Boddicker and his gang. Boddicker is arrested in a cocaine factory by RoboCop. In desperation, Boddicker inadvertently implicates Dick Jones. While trying to arrest Jones, RoboCop is stopped by a directive in his program, Directive Four, prohibiting him from arresting any senior OCP executive. RoboCop is severely damaged by an ED-209 unit and a police SWAT team but escapes with the help of his former partner, Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen).

Jones frees Boddicker and tasks him with the destruction of RoboCop, promising to make him a crime lord when OCP starts the construction of Delta City. Boddicker’s gang members, rounded up by RoboCop, are released when the police force goes on strike. Supplied with military weapons by Jones, they follow RoboCop to the same abandoned steel mill in which Murphy had been killed by the gang. In a final showdown, RoboCop and Lewis kill Boddicker and the gang. The battle leaves RoboCop damaged and Lewis wounded.

RoboCop proceeds to the OCP headquarters and reveals Jones’ criminal activities to the head of OCP. Jones tries to take the OCP head hostage. But as he starts making demands, he is fired, which refutes his protection under Directive Four. RoboCop immediately shoots Jones, forcing him through a window to fall to his death. When the head of OCP asks RoboCop for his name, he replies, “Murphy”, before leaving the boardroom.


Back in the 80s, movies weren’t so scrutinized. Thusly, they were of higher quality. Robocop is no exception. While the effects aren’t on par with today’s standards, you can’t watch this and not be impressed.

I remember this being the first R rated movie I ever saw that wasn’t a horror movie. Today I look at it with different, more mature eyes. and still love it.

Though I do love it, there are some flaws. This could be because they spend so much on the origin part of the story. As far as I know, they didn’t know there were going to be two sequels, so there was no need to spend half the movie on it. Also, they could have spent a little more time developing the human aspect of Officer Murphy and a little more in depth with Clarence Boddicker. Those are just my opinions, though.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars