This time, Force Fed Sci-Fi welcomes its first guest, Brian McLeod, to take a look at Robocop! During our review, we discuss how the character of Robocop himself actually accomplishes little to no police work, could technology offer a solution to areas infested with crime, and is Robocop worthy to get a statue in Detroit? Let’s dig in…..
Robocop (Original) Cast
Directed by Paul Verhoeven: Born in the Netherlands, Verhoeven had a solid reputation as a filmmaker prior to taking on Robocop. His early collaborations with Rutger Hauer earned him worldwide fame and even earned an Academy Award nomination for Foreign Language Film in 1974. Robocop was Verhoeven’s first major Hollywood film and was able to blend many complex themes together to create an entertaining and memorable story.
Starring Peter Weller as Alex Murphy/Robocop: Prior to his casting, Weller was relatively unknown, but starred in the cult hit The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension in 1984. He was not the first choice for Murphy as Rutger Hauer and Michael Ironside were considered, but their large frames would not fit into the Robocop costume. Weller has since gone to have a respectable career appearing in films and television and has earned his Master’s Degree in Roman and Renaissance Art as well as a PhD in Italian Renaissance Art History.
Nancy Allen as Anne Lewis: While she does not have a ton of memorable credits to her name, she remained a consistent presence in the Robocop films and would go on to appear in this film’s sequel as well as the third film even after Peter Weller left the franchise. It’s unclear exactly of her feelings towards Murphy whether it’s professional or romantic, but she offers a unique morality to the film as no one comes out smelling like roses at the end.
Kurtwood Smith as Clarence Boddicker: Before he was known as Red Forman on That 70’s Show, Smith turned in a rather convincing performance as this drug kingpin. Boddicker clearly has a bevy of mental issues including narcissism and megalomania and has a near total disregard for human life. Everyone around him is either a means to an end or they’re just a target. The filmmakers have commented that making Boddicker an intellectual was intentional even down to the rimless glasses he wore as it made Smith look like infamous Nazi officer Heinrich Himmler
Is Robocop a Good Cop?
Any police officer will tell you that most of what is seen on television and film is dramatized. Most of the job is filling out paperwork as every stop and movement must be documented and cataloged. Robocop seems to not be familiar with these procedures.
First, he just leaves his precinct without informing the Desk Sergeant where he’s going or what area he plans to patrol. Second, he engages in both breaking up a convenience store lobby and an attempted sexual assault without returning to the precinct to fill out any sort of paperwork or arrest log. In addition, we don’t even see him arrest anybody! One of our show's hosts, Chris, is pretty sure that the convenience store robber was also just left dead in the freezer as Robocop drops a cool one-liner and exits the store.
Finally, Robocop has a clear disregard for due process. After he interrogates one of Boddicker’s henchman, he breaks into a warehouse without obtaining a warrant and begins shooting up the joint. Not only would any normal cop be removed from patrol duty after a shooting,