Stuart’s Movie Catchup – Robocop (1987) Review

Now here’s a film I’m not even slightly familiar with. Yes, I’ve obviously heard of Robocop, but unlike Alien and The Terminator, I can assuredly say I haven’t seen even the smallest of snippets of it.

Indeed, the only time I’ve ever seen Robocop in action was when he saved Sting from the Four Horsemen at a WCW event in 1990.

Just let that sink in for a moment.

Even as a child who totally believed in the authenticity of wrestling back in the early 90s, that came across as some right hokey shit.

Robocop Review: What’s This One About?

At some point in a future that looks an awful lot like 1987 America, a police officer – the toughest human being to have ever lived – survives being shot at point-blank range with a shotgun 63 times, offering no more than a cry of anguish for his troubles. When that

Someone got paid to come up with that logo

Someone got paid to come up with that logo for the end of the movie

gets followed up with a bullet to the temple, it still doesn’t kill him immediately.

Rather than being treated as a medical marvel, the local Emergency Room attend to him with such apathy that he dies around 30 seconds after he arrives.

But all is not lost; this policeman’s corpse is selected to become Robocop, a robotic bobby with no human body parts other than a face – which makes you wonder why they didn’t use a robot entirely – and ideally no memory (although they cock that bit up too).

Oh, and Robocop is able to withstand even more bullets from point-blank range than he did when he was human. He’s unstoppable!!!!!!

So watch out villains of “Future Detroit”, he’s coming after you.

Robocop Review: How Does It Hold Up?

From an artistic point of view it doesn’t hold up well at all.

Not only is no effort made to make this look like anything other than 1987 Detroit, despite it being set at some point in a not-very-dystopian future, most of the effects – with the only exception being the Robocop suit – seem really cheap these days too.

In terms of being “futuristic”, the only thing I noticed was that at one point someone uses what appears to be a DVD, but that’s really it.

It even has a bit where two rapists decide they want to take a pair of scissors to their intended victim’s apparently hefty amount of pubic hair. Seriously. It doesn’t get much more 80s than that.

But I suppose credit should be given for predicting Detroit’s future bankruptcy!

I think though that the main reason it doesn’t hold up artistically is because it seems very cheap. I mean, look at the logo they use at the end of the movie for goodness sake?

This, meanwhile is the movie's poster. Slightly better, I'd say, even though Robocop isn't red in the film

This, meanwhile is the movie’s poster. Slightly better, I’d say, even though it makes it look like Robocop has a red helmet

The thing is though, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad…

Robocop Review: But Is It Entertaining?

In direct contrast to Alien, Robocop looks shit, but is actually pretty entertaining in a light-hearted way.

Whether it’s the ridiculousness of Murphy being shot as many times as he was, the way the guy in the office was killed by the ED-209, the cringey scene where the ED-209 falls down the stairs or just the acting in general, this is so laughable that it wouldn’t even make the cinema in 2014. It’s the sort of film that the humourless would disregard as poorly made, but as far as I’m concerned it’s charmingly silly, even if that might not have been the intention.

Running just north of 90 minutes, it doesn’t get old and in spite of the aforementioned flaws, actually flows pretty well.

So it’s enjoyable and is the sort of film I’d watch again at some point.

A surprising thumbs up.

My Other Catchup Reviews So Far…

The Terminator

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