With a big budget remake due to hit the big screens in a big way next year, now is the perfect time to take an ill-informed retrospective squint at Paul Verhoeven’s original.
PC Jim Murphy is a maverick (non-robo) cop on the edge, who plays by his own rules and lives by his own law. He plays hard and drinks fast – and he loves even harder and/or faster. He walks the line between right and wrong but he always gets his man and he lives by his own code – and it’s a very special type of justice indeed. He doesn’t always go by the book but he gets the job done, whether the bosses like it or not, and if they don’t like it… well, that’s their problem. He’s also getting too old for this shit.
After being brutally twatted by drug dealers, Murphy is rebooted by (non-robo) scientists as part of a bleeding-edge information technology project, led by a collaborative group of inter-disciplinary innovators. Essentially, they turn him off and on again. This is great news for Murphy, as his files had become corrupted.
Resurrected as the mechanoid death-dispensing bullet-shitter, RoboCop, Murphy proceeds to scour the sins from the futuristic streets of a bleak, neo-Gothic Detroit.
“ERROR X1R44, PUNK!!”, he bleeps, throttling a pimp. “DO YOU WANT TO SEND ERROR REPORT?!”
Murphy’s (non-robo) bosses aren’t happy. Doors are slammed, paper cups of coffee are thrown at walls, and brows are furrowed. An investigation is launched.
Robo-Murphy meets with his (non-robo) union rep.
“It doesn’t look good, Murphy,” says the bespectacled humanoid union man. “Three counts of cyber-violence and it’s only Tuesday. And you need to oil your knees – they’re too squeaky. No-one can concentrate on their work when you’re walking down the corridor.”
Murphy jerks up from his seat, upturning the desk in the process.
“RAM DUMP!! DEFRAG MAIN DRIVE?!”
He exits and journeys to the land of Oz in search of a heart, but finds only corruption, corporate greed and bureaucracy.
The film ends with a point of view shot of Murphy suffering the dreaded ‘blue screen of death’, kicking spasmodically and gurgling a pastey, milkish gloop from his face-holes.
“It’s probably for the best. The world just wasn’t ready for him,” says a passing (non-robo) janitor, sweeping away the shattered dreams of a broken society.
An interesting film, but one marred by typically Verhoeven-esque scenes of rancid copulation between the machine-like Murphy and the soft, squishy (non-robo) lollipop lady, Rita.
I give this film 5 megs out of 10. BZZZZTTT!!