Thursday, March 26, 2015

Short Attention Span Review: RoboCop (1987)

Earlier today I posted a review of the new RoboCop (I gave it a C) that you can read below.  It only seemed logical to follow that up with a look at the original 1987 smash hit from visionary director Paul Verhoeven.  Rest assured, good people, this one gets an A+.  RoboCop is one of the best sci-fi/action mash-ups ever to grace the screen and I can't think of anything that it doesn't do well.  Peter Weller leads an amazing cast that boasts wonderful performances from Nancy Allen, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, and Miguel Ferrer.  Many of these talents offered up what was likely their best work in this excessively violent and riveting shoot 'em up with a lot of heart.  It also benefits from a wealth of black humor and tremendous effects work.  The story is engaging and provocative in equal measures and heightens the impact of all the bloody mayhem unfolding onscreen.  Basil Poledouris provides the piece with what may be his second-best score (I'm hoping that no one reading this needs to be told what his finest score was) and the production team nailed every aspect of bringing this wild and visionary tale to life.  I'm frequently amazed that this was such a major success, but that gives me hope for mankind.  Apparently, there are lot of people out there who dig dark humor, gratuitous voilence, and buckets of gore.  RoboCop is a true one-of-a-kind and it remains just as potent and daring now as it was then.  Perhaps that's the biggest reason that I was so unimpressed with the reboot--RoboCop didn't need a paint job, and there was surely no need for a PG-13 RoboCop Lite.  If you're in the mood for a badass movie about a badass cybernetic policeman cleaning up the mean streets of Detroit, look to 1987.

Final Grade: A+
The original RoboCop is a special effects masterpiece.
If you don't believe me, just ask this guy.

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