Thursday, August 2, 2012
This is another movie I really wanted to see when I was a kid. I loved cop movies, I loved robots, and look! Here was a lovely combination of the two. Of course my mom vetoed the idea of me watching it, and as controversy swirled around this movie getting an "X" rating for violence until it was toned down, I can't really blame her for that. Mostly, I held off seeing this because I figured the special effects would look really ridiculous now that I'm in my thirties, and the only reason I actually watched the movie was to see how the violence measured up to other really violent movies I'd seen.
First of all, while some of the stop-motion effects in this movie look cheesetastic now over 20 years later, to reduce the movie to a collection of outdated special effects is to do it a great injustice. The fact is, this is a really cool movie, and it's held up unbelievably well over the years. The movie tries something different right from the beginning, eschewing a lengthy explanation through title cards or something equally boring, instead choosing to throw us right into this dystopian future society with flashes of news footage our only introduction to this brave new world. In the future, life is gritty and dirty and criminals are tearing cities apart and blowing away cops right in broad daylight, and a corporation called OCP (yeah, yeah, I know, subtle) is in control, trying to utilize technology to create a super cop who will be able to stem the tide of this crime wave.
This movie takes another risk in that we get to know RoboCop before he's "robo" but we don't get to know him well, we get but a glimpse into his life before a gang of ruthless criminals exact gory revenge on him, and all we really know about him is that he's a private person, he loves his family, and he loves being a cop. It turns out that is enough for me, since I really felt for this guy (and just so you know, I don't use the word "gory" lightly here, this movie is really really REALLY nasty in some parts, and I can totally see glimmers of that X rating still lurking around the edges of this "hard R" feature). I pretty much wanted to jump into the movie and kill all the criminals myself, that's how despicable they are, and the corruption that allowed them to elude capture for so long really got under my skin. The movie had me wincing at the gore, yelling at the bad guys, and cheering RoboCop on all the way, and I enjoyed it a hell of a lot more than I ever thought I would.