Robocop, directed by Paul Verhoeven, who is best known for his work with this movie, Starship Troopers, and Basic Instinct, is a unique and cleverly constructed action sci-fi motion picture, written by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner.
Robocop revolves around Alex Murphy (played by Peter Weller who gives a compelling performance), a loving father, husband, and devoted Detroit police officer who attempts to bring down a wanted group of criminals and is brutally murdered in the process. Omnicorp, a technological based organization, which specializes in building crime fighting cyborgs, sees their chance for a shot at redemption after multiple failures by taking Murphy’s body and bringing him back as a half human/half machine, crime fighting cyborg. Their recreation of him becomes an instant success and their biggest accomplishment yet as a company.
Alex Murphy, who is now known as “Robocop”, dramatically decreases the crime ridden streets of Detroit, delivering a new brand of justice. However, what Omnicorp did not realize was that Murphy’s memory of his former life and certain aspects of his human functions suddenly start submerging. As a result of realizing what was done to him and knowing he has no shot at a normal life again or any means of contact with his wife and son, Robocop now aims to bring down the violent gang of criminals solely based on revenge and the taunted memories. Clarence Boddicker (played by Kurtwood Smith), is the leader of this criminal group and is the man responsible for murdering Alex Murphy.
What gives this film the ability to stand out and be its own is the superb performances, given by Peter Weller and Kurtwood Smith, and director Paul Verhoeven beautifully constructs an emotional, heartfelt and compelling film that explores the concepts of human emotions, perseverance, and the cruelty/recklessness of society and how vile some individuals are. Paul Verhoeven is credited as one of the most visionary directors in Hollywood and is considered to be the eyes of this film. However, the true vision of Robocop is Michael Miner and Edward Neumeier, the screenwriters who bring a unique, vivid and prominent concept to the public, and opens the eyes of many.
Robocop, the remake of the 1987 film, is dircted by Joseph Padilha, his American heature film debut. Joshua Zetomer delivers his first major screenplay for Hollywood, providing Robocop with a new vision alongside Padilha, as well as staying faithful to the original installment.
Alex Murphy (played by Joel Kinniman), who is portrayed as a rookie cop and devoted family man, is on the tail of two crooked policeman and after Antoine Vallon (played by Patrick Garrow), who Murphy suspects of working with the two crooked policeman, as well as being guilty of various crimes. He is sold out by the two policeman to Vallon and his crew, and has a bomb strapped to Murphy’s car, resulting in fatal injuries and third degree burns. On the verge of death, he is brought back to life by Omnicorp, who sees him as their chance for a success at a crime fighting cyborg that will clean up the crime ridden streets of Detroit.
Many have berated this remake as unfaithful to the original, as well as a flawed film due to overly emphasizing politics, focusing more on Murphy coming to grips with what has happened, as well as him having too many of his existing human functions intact. It was also noted that the film spends a prolonged amount of time revolving around his desire to still live a normal life with his wife and son while fighting crime.
However, I see all of the reasons stated above as giving the film more strength, hope, reality, and emotion as well as a fictional action science fiction picture.
While this film has a different central plot, it achieves greatly as a film, as it is not a shot for shot remake and a clone of the old, and is instead a film that provides us with elements of the original film, while also giving the audience something new and fresh.