Robocop (1 & 2)

Posted: May 20, 2009 in Joe Giambrone
Tags: ,

ROBOCOP

Get the Blu-Ray: Robocop

Get the DVD: Robocop (20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition)

 

What can I say? I’ve seen these two films at least 20 times each. Skip the third one, however, because it’s just not up to par.

In the near future, through endless “privatization” schemes, tyrannical corporations will run society. Headed by sociopaths like Dick Jones, these aggressive pirate plunderers play games with people’s lives, livelihoods, their cities and the very structure of society.

In this case, the police department of Old Detroit becomes a testing ground for the new cyborg police officer initiative. All Omni Consumer Products needs is a test subject: Murphy.

Murphy is “reassigned” by the corporation to a high-risk part of the city, thus increasing the odds he will be killed in the line of duty, and his brain taken and used for their cyborg program. Murphy is soon killed, as predicted by the corporation, but he is then reborn as the title character. Murphy’s computer-enhanced mind is programmed with several “directives,” including a classified one that not even he has access to.

Both films are masterpieces. Not a single shot is wasted or superfluous. Violence is real, gritty, and horrific. The cinematography is top notch, and the action is blunt force. Murphy evolves into a unique character in a unique situation, after beginning as a bit of a macho cliché.

ROBOCOP 2

 

Get the DVD: Robocop 2

In the second film, we continue right where the first film left off. The cops are on strike – an entire police force. That’s how awful rule by corporate thugs has been. Even well-meaning police officers, who know the consequences of a strike, refuse to take it anymore. That’s scene one: the city is in anarchy, and the dregs of society rip through the night.

Only one cop is not on strike, of course. But he is quite outgunned this time.

All brilliant stuff, masterfully crafted. Murphy’s second installment is even more emotionally gripping and more consequential than the first film. Is Murphy still human? A little bit? Just how much, and what of his wife and son?

Dick Jones may be dead and gone, but his compatriots still wield massive unaccountable power over Old Detroit. That power is about to be upgraded, too, with the creation of Robocop’s next generation replacement: Robocop 2.

This time, O.C.P. decides to take a few more risks in the service of their cyborg ‘peace officer’ initiative. Unable to find another officer like Murphy – who takes well to the cyborg afterlife – O.C.P. has become a little desperate in its search.

Cain, the “Nuke Cult” leader, becomes available for the job. With visions of grandeur, even Godhood, Cain appears to be the possible missing link in the evolution of the cyborg program…

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