Cast: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Kurtwood Smith & Ronny Cox
The crime rate in a futuristic Detroit has gone sky-high, in particular a string of murders of policemen. The police commissioner has decided that it's time to do something about it. The most promising option is a robotic policeman who will patrol day and night without rest. The first test of the robot goes horribly wrong, but fortunately one man has an idea. He needs to blend the robotics with a human to create a cyborg in order to keep the robot from going ballistic. Soon after, Officer Murphy is the latest to be killed by the gang responsible for the police murders. His body is used to create the cyborg, which slowly begins to remember its former life.
This is a hugely representative film of its time, which is enforced by the fact that it is severely dated. On top of the extremely 80's special effects, script and music, it also continues the trend of films about robots that went wild that decade - I'll call it the RoboBoom. In this time, some of the most well-known robot movies were created: Blade Runner (1982), The Terminator (1984), D.A.R.Y.L. (1985), Short Circuit (1986), and batteries not included (1987), along with a slew of others. RoboCop was not at all original in its creation, having been inspired directly by Blade Runner (and even using the Terminator theme song in the trailer).
Still, this film differs from the others because this robot is made of human parts, rather than built to replicate them. On top of this, as my good pal Roger Ebert pointed out, we realize that Murphy was in fact more mechanized in mentality before he was turned into a robot, and only once he has died and become machine he treasures the few memories he has of his family.
Quintessential 80's, and not a terrible watch.
Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):
- The RoboCop suit was so hot and heavy that Peter Weller was losing 3 lbs a day from water loss. Eventually, an air conditioner was installed in the suit.
- The police cars were modified Ford Tauruses. One of the main competitors of the Taurus at the time was the Pontiac 6000. The car the villains use is the 6000 SUX, a not-so-subtle jab at the Pontiac 6000.
- In Sacramento, California a robbery suspect fled into a darkened movie theatre to escape pursuing police. He became so engrossed in the movie playing on screen, Robocop, that he failed to notice that police had evacuated all other patrons from the theatre. When the lights flipped on, the stunned man was taken into custody.