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DVDs I think you should own #13 – Robocop

10/02/2011

Perhaps the fact I saw Paul Verhoeven’s iconic sci-fi masterpiece when I was but a young ‘un (couldn’t have been more than eight, liberal parents what can I say) has influenced how much I love it but even now, after twenty odd years it’s still a vibrant and exciting film. Ostensibly a remake (deliberate or otherwise) of High Plains drifter transposed to the near-future dystopia of New Detroit, a corrupt, crime riddled metropolis more or less ruled by the powerful Omni Consumer Products corporation.

When Officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) is bushwhacked by a criminal gang they leave him for dead but his mutilated body ends up being used for the latest OCP innovation – Robocop. His resurrection as the ultimate law enforcement machine runs into problems when his consciousness fights its way through and he experiences flashbacks to his life before sending him on a mission of vengeance. It’s absolutely brilliant.

Oozing with a morality which enhances the humanity at the heart of the story, Verhoeven’s vision of a society governed by ultra conservative corporate masters who have privatised every element of society they have got their hands on feels scarily contemporary. Robocop himself is the conflict between human compassion and the faceless, emotionless decision making of his corporate masters. The attempts to suppress his human core under the computers and machinery and programming that have brought him back from the brink of death are an abject failure when faced with the burning desire to take vengeance on those who have robbed him of his previous life. The whole package is richly satirical and is laced with a wry sense of humour throughout.

With awesome stop motion (the ferocious,animalistic ED-209 droids are tremendous) and technical effects, a wonderful feel of a near future city courtesy of the visionary city planners and architects of New Detroit stand-in Dallas/Fort Worth, a phenomenal score and some of the most memorable dialogue and action scenes you are likely to see on screen it is an absolute essential addition to your collection.

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